Along with places like Etta's Lounge and The Silver Slipper, The Big Easy keeps Houston's blues and zydeco scene vibrant and fertile, bringing down-to-earth charm and solid soul to one of the city's toniest areas. The focus here is on local artists, living legends who routinely draw capacity crowds. The ghosts of blues past are haunt the club's walls in spirit and in portraits. The club's high volume level and physical intimacy - weekend nights here can redefine the word "packed" - offer patrons the chance to get up close and personal with the artists and each other alike. Plenty of stories are floating around about oldsters cutting the proverbial rug and dancing rings around the younger folks. The front patio offers an almost alarmingly close view of Kirby Drive, one of Houston's main surface-street arteries.