LSU Press Book Offers Experiential Guide to Louisiana’s Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, Dance Halls
Alex V. Cook explores the state’s unique musical culture in “Louisiana Saturday Night”
BATON ROUGE – From backwoods bars and small-town dives to swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns, “Louisiana Saturday Night” offers an anecdotal history and experiential guidebook to some of the Gumbo State’s most unique blues, Cajun and zydeco clubs.
Music critic Alex V. Cook uncovers South Louisiana’s wellspring of musical tradition, showing readers that indigenous music is not an artifact to be salvaged by preservationists, but a living, breathing, singing, laughing and crying part of Louisiana culture.
“Louisiana Saturday Night,” available in March from LSU Press, takes the reader to both offbeat and traditional venues in and around Baton Rouge, Cajun country and New Orleans, where they will hear the distinctive voices of musicians, patrons and club owners, like Teddy Johnson, born in the house that now serves as Teddy’s Juke Joint. Along the way, Cook ruminates on the cultural importance of the people and places he encounters, and shows their critical role in keeping Louisiana’s unique music alive.
A map, a journal, a drinking partner, and a snapshot of what goes on in the little shacks off main roads, “Louisiana Saturday Night” provides an indispensable and entertaining companion for those in pursuit of Louisiana’s quirky and varied nightlife.
Cook is a Baton Rouge writer whose work has appeared in the “Oxford American,” “The Believer,” “The Wire” and “DownBeat.”