Monday, December 15, 2014

This is the Place You Want to Tell People About...and You Kind of Don't!

So said Debbie Hollis, Director of Works In Progress, during a performance at the Shreveport House Concert Series. She and I laughed, thinking about how people want to keep a good thing to themselves, such as a favorite swimming hole or fishing spot, but they also want to share with others.

To be sure, one of this area’s best-kept, secret music venues is the Shreveport House Concert Series. Founded in 2004, the Shreveport House Concert Series are hosted in the “black box” building at 1508 Fairfield Avenue. There, in a room skillfully designed for optimum light and sound effects, world-class musicians perform before a small crowd. It is, indeed, an up-close and intimate experience.

The event on December 7 opened with Alan Dyson, a multidisciplinary American artist, at the mike. After a warm and informative introduction, he welcomed the night’s performer, William Sadler. Sadler, an actor and musician, is perhaps best known for playing opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2.

After a gracious introduction of his backup band, Dirtfoot—“Louisiana’s premier gypsy punk country grumble boogie band”—Sadler and company wasted no time in regaling the audience with a series of ballads, blues, humorous ditties, and mournful love songs. His rhythms included swing, waltz, simple one-two beats, and looser banjo-picking-while-storytelling.

For its part, Dirtfoot turned in a remarkable performance, especially given that the band had only one sit-down with Sadler before show time. The members have the gift of being both musicians and excellent singers.

During intermission, the audience availed itself of a delicious buffet, making this writer wish he hadn’t had a big dinner beforehand…but the brownies were irresistible nevertheless!

We are fortunate to have so many people diligently working to bring music and art to this community, and the Shreveport House Concert Series is an example of such dedication.

The next performance is December 28, 2014, when the Lightin’ Bugs will light up the stage!

Mike Sledge

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