Music, art, literature, food, language, and all that makes us Louisianians.



And this final note on the blues. Two years ago on this show, we profiled Gip's Place, a real juke joint nestled in a residential neighborhood in Bessemer, Alabama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: It's not like going to a bar. It's not like going to a club. It's like going to your best friend's house and putting on just the newest record and sitting there and enjoying it together. Literally, there is truly a mix between the musicians and the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Welcome again. Y'all ready to get started?

CROWD: Yeah!

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

Natalie Maines is a small woman with a really big voice. Flanked by Emily Robison on banjo and Martie McGuire on fiddle, Maines powered the Dixie Chicks to some 30 million records sold. And then came the collapse — after what the band calls "the incident."

On cable TV, there's a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.

MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud.

Peter Sagal

As the host of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!, Peter Sagal, makes jokes about the news every week.

Game show hosts are typically not supposed to be part of the news.

But Peter Sagal ran the Boston Marathon as a guide for a blind runner, and a strange thing happened on the way past the finish line...

When he was a teenager, journalist Rod Dreher couldn't wait to escape Louisiana. Now he has found his way home again in grief — after his sister's death from lung cancer. It was "in light" of that tragedy, Dreher says, that he discovered the value of community. It's the subject of his new book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life.

The Oxford American

Festival season is upon us and there are plenty of opportunities to boogie down to Louisiana music - both old and new. Some new artists bringing a different sound to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year are Luke Winslow-King, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Alexis and the Samurai.

Alex Rawls, a New Orleans-based writer and editor who runs the music and culture website, was the guest editor of The Oxford American magazine’s 2012 Southern Music Issue, which was entirely dedicated to all things Louisiana music. He also helped put together its accompanying album.

And Rawls tells WRKF’s Ashley Westerman that even though this new music comes from a younger generation and may sound a little different - it is still authentically Louisiana.

Postcard from Baton Rouge Blues Fest

Apr 15, 2013
Amy Jeffries / WRKF

The Memphis Blues, the Chicago Blues, the Mississippi Delta Blues have all had their fair share of the spotlight. But what about the Baton Rouge Blues?  -- the Swamp Blues? 

This weekend the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation hosted its annual festival downtown to celebrate the music of our city.

Steve Schapiro, Provided by art2art

The list of people Steve Schapiro  has photographed reads more like a Who’s Who list of the 1960s and ‘70s. During his career, Schapiro worked for magazines such as Life, Time, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair and captured the images of influential politicians, celebrities and musicians. He also extensively covered the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

Those icons - Jackie Kennedy, Ray Charles and James Baldwin - are who Schapiro labels "Heroes" in an exhibit of  work is on display at the West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen.

Audio Pending...