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George French featuring Ellen Smith at the Montelone

George French may still be at the Montelone every Tuesday from 9-1, featuring Ellen Smith.George French and Since a few weeks have passed since Harrahs shut down the Thursday evening set that supported our authentic music culture, Boo and I found ourselves at the Montelone Hotel Tuesday evening. I actually went to the calendar we created at and was reminded that bassist and vocalist George French was at the Montelone every Tuesday from 9-1, featuring Ellen Smith.

George French is a band leader and both a bass player and a vocalist, and extremely talented and versatile as both. Comfortable with a standup or electric bass, Mr. French has earned the respect and admiration of his peers and audiences alike. His stylized vocals will remind one of Lou Rawls, but it is no imitation, George French's voice has an extreme vocal range and power, all its own. Tuesday night he was teamed with the sultry Ellen Smith, who with a really smoky alto voice has a presence of her own that invokes the “speak easy”. Some of the best music that night happened when she and the bandleader danced vocally with harmonics and refrains that spoke so much to both of their considerable musical experiences.

You may not have noticed that I didn't refer to George French as a Jazz musician, even though he has mastered the art form and is a leader and teacher in Jazz circles. Like many great New Orleans musicians, George French refuses to be limited or labeled. "I play music", and his sets are famous for taking request, a sign of virtuosity and a vast repertoire. We've never been disappointed by a George French set.