Robert Johnson is to the blues as Albert Einstein is to physics. Like some ghostly figure, beamed here from another planet, he is the godfather of rock & roll and blues. He laid the ground work for the intoxicated mythos that is the Delta blues — devil-obsessed, possessed, god-fearing, backroads tramping and crossroads rambling — it’s all there. Born to itinerant sharecroppers on May 8, 1911, in Hazlehurst, Miss. Died: Aug. 16, 1938, at the age of 27, near Greenwood, Miss. Initially regarded by Son House and others as a subpar player, Johnson disappeared for a period only to return playing at a level light years beyond where he was only a few months previous, leading to speculation that Johnson had sold his soul to the devil in order to achieve his legendary mastery of the blues. Recorded in Texas in 1936 and 1937, Johnson’s songs are his greatest legacy, and the most striking historical documents of his existence.
On Jan. 22, Acadiana Center for the Arts will host 100 Years of Robert Johnson, a live retrospective of his music. Slide guitarist Scott Ainslie (who wrote the book on Johnson’s slide playing), Mamou Playboys guitarist Sam Broussard and pianist David Egan will pay tribute to Johnson’s music with live renditions of many of his greatest songs.
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APR 17 At the start of the Tuesday board meeting that ended with his removal from the President's post, Joe Aguillard told the governing board of Louisiana College that SACS, the accreditation agency, requires the board to adopt a confidentiality agreement regarding board actions. Later that day, SACS told the Town Talk that confidentiality agreements would never be required. Calvinist or not, isn't lying wrong?
APR 17 Here's an interesting column from Paul Stanley, political opinion editor of the Christian Post. He breaks down the differences between David Vitter and Vance McAllister, in terms of political realities. What he found surprising was the fact that many GOP leaders are swinging a self-righteous sword at McAllister which had remained sheathed when Vitter's "sin" was revealed. He does have an interesting theory -- that Jindal's people want the Vitter issue to be revived.
APR 17 Here we are, looking like backwater dummies again in the national media. This story on Huffington Post tells the nation that our legislators are so scared of the Louisiana Family Forum that they won't vote to repeal a law that was ruled illegal years ago. (Guess these particular Christians don't cotton to that "love one another" thing.)
APR 17 Jim Brown writes about Vance McAllister in this week's post. He says that, as one of the north Louisiana "rednecks" in question, he can tell you that they won't be taking the advice of any of the GOP "would-be king makers" who are calling on the man to resign. After all, he says, these are the same voters who rejected the guy those king makers wanted to win in the first place, aren't they?
APR 17 Here's an announcement on the website of Liberty University, the Virginia university founded by Jerry Falwell. In it, we're told that our governor will be pandering, er, speaking, yeah -- speaking to the graduating class in May. "Many believe he could hold the highest office in the land someday," Falwell is quoted as saying.
APR 17 Jeremy Alford profiles political consultant Roy Fletcher in this post on LaPolitics. Fletcher is a great story-teller, and there have certainly been legendary stories told about him, so this wasn't a small job. But Alford did good; it's a fascinating look into Fletcher's background and point of view.
APR 17 Here's the latest on the Real ID law, advancing through the legislature (for now). This is the law that would bring Louisiana into compliance with a federal law requiring that IDs be verifiable. The feds keep pushing the deadline back, but eventually without one you might have to show a passport to board a plane to Houston. According to this story, there's a lady in Shreveport who is against it. Of course - why would anybody ever want to leave Shreveport?
APR 17 There's a bill advancing in the legislature that would allow religious displays for traditional "winter" celebrations, the Associated Press reports here. That means there could be a nativity scene, a menorah (that's the Jewish candelabra, Bubba) or any other symbol, including secular symbols like, presumably, Santa Claus, at public schools.
APR 16 The extended controversy surrounding Louisiana College may begin to wind down now; the Town Talk reports here that embattled president Joe Aguillard has been reduced to a professor position. It's likely that soon we will begin to see the post-mortems begin -- this story isn't over.
APR 16 Lamar Parmentel writes about the latest forecast for Louisiana's future - and it ain't rosy. The fiscal experts in the budget office are predicting a shortfall of nearly $1 billion for the 2015-16 fiscal year, he writes. This is what the "dead beat" governor is going to leave us as his legacy, Lamar says.
APR 16 The fence blocking the public from Newcomb Boulevard in NOLA came down Tuesday morning, The Lens reports in this post. The fence was put up by neighbors who didn't want just anybody walking on a public street, but there's a big ole picture of a city worker cutting it down in this post. The general public should be able to drive on the street (which they own) in about a week, the story says.
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