This week in New Orleans music: Free beer and a zydeco weekend

The days are getting hotter and muggier, but New Orleans summer nights are made for adventure. The second week of June brings music fans a brass extravaganza, a free crawfish boil and a weekend festival honoring zydeco music, which is rooted in the heavy air of Louisiana summers.

Wednesday, June 11
Hill Country Hounds
Maple Leaf

One of the jewels of the local music scene, the Maple Leaf is renowned for its artists in residence and dedication to showcasing the best acts of the NOLA music scene. Wednesday night brings Americana roots and country music center stage, with the Hill Country Hounds beginning at 10 p.m. The Hounds are celebrating their eponymous CD release.

Thursday, June 12:
Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers
Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge

Ruffins’ home turf, this tiny venue in Tremé keeps it in the family. Thursday nights belong to the legendary trumpeter and his BBQ Swingers through June 27. The early show starts at 7 p.m.

Friday, June 13
Brass Band Blowout
Tipitina’s

Featuring the Original Pinettes, New Breed Brass Band and the Tremé Brass Band, this free show is part of Foundation Free Fridays. Get ready to dance and swing all night, and expect the bands to mix it up. This is an over 21 show, and doors open at 9 p.m.

Saturday, June 14
Eric Lindell
Rock ‘n’ Bowl

The Rock ‘n’ Bowl is a symbol of rebirth in New Orleans and was one of the first venues to re-open after Hurricane Katrina. Today, its legacy continues, showcasing local favorites every weekend. Following the June 7 release of Eric Lindell’s Live in Space, the NOLA transplant will grace the Rock ‘n’ Bowl stage with his spicy R&B on Saturday night beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 15
Customer Appreciation Night
Dragon’s Den

A true New Orleans dive bar, the Dragon’s Den is home to an eclectic mix of music every night of the week. Saturday night’s free show brings fans an extravagant laser light show, dubstep from Austin’s The Widdler, and free crawfish and a keg of beer in the courtyard while supplies last. Yup, free beer, so get there early. The fun begins at 7 p.m.

Bonus weekend event: June 14 & 15
Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival
Louis Armstrong Park

A free celebration of Cajun music, headliners at the two-day festival include Sweet Crude, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, and the incomparable legend Buckwheat Zydeco. Sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, this is the festival’s first year at Louis Armstrong Park, and organizers are getting ready for the heat, providing misting fans throughout the park. The Festival runs from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. June 14 and 15. Folding chairs are welcome, but no coolers are permitted.