It’s the Gulf Coast’s greatest hits, literally, in Hurricanes of the Gulf of Mexico (LSU Press). Authors Barry D. Keim and Robert A. Muller — the former is current Louisiana state climatologist and an LSU geology professor; the latter is former state climatologist and a professor emeritus of geology at LSU — have assembled a rogue’s gallery of the most devastating storms to pound the Gulf Coast, beginning with the Galveston hurricane of 1900, which dislodged an estimated 6,000 souls from their bodies. The authors bring decades of academic and scientific achievement to the page, but, thankfully, write for the layman in clear prose ungarnished with technical jargon. Hurricanes of the Gulf of Mexico not only recounts the great storms, but also devotes considerable ink to the science of hurricanes, the socioeconomic impact of storms and other topics. The book made landfall Aug. 31, retails for $29.95 and is available at major book sellers and at www.lsu.edu/lsupress . — Walter Pierce
An art gallery in a health club? Whodathunkit? River Ranch has long planned to have its own art gallery, and a light bulb went off recently when it realized that the tremendous amount of uniform wall space in the common areas of the City Club created the perfect location. Gallery at City Club Fitness Center is being curated by Jeffery McCullough, with the first show featuring paintings by Julie Breaux, Mallory Chastant, Erin Chance Fenstermaker, Hope Hebert, Linda Moncla and Lue Svendson. McCullough, an interior designer who divides his time between Lafayette and New York, chooses the artists for each quarterly show and also does all selection of the pieces. Each show features five or six Louisiana artists, ranging from photography to abstract paintings to realism and water colors. McCullough says the relaxed setting, versus the intimidation some people feel in an actual gallery, has been a big selling point. “I hang shows the way art should be hung in homes so people can see how an abstract works with a traditional impressionist painting and how colors work together,” he says. The inaugural show, which runs through the end of September, has been a smashing success, moving 12 pieces in the first month (many galleries don’t sell that over the course of several months), and artists are booked through June of next year. To purchase art from Gallery at City Club Fitness Center, contact McCullough at
or 917-282-1880. — Leslie Turk
New Orleans trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard continues to have the Midas touch with each new bold project he embarks on. His latest album, Choices, is the follow-up to his Grammy-winning 2007 release A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), which was based off the score he wrote for Spike Lee’s epic documentary film When the Levees Broke. For Choices, Blanchard enlists soul singer Bilal and renowned Princeton University professor Cornel West, who’s spoken-word ruminations are lyrically mixed in on several tracks, adding another dynamic element to the band’s fluid groove. Choices can be found at all major music outlets. Visit www.terenceblanchard.com for more information. — Nathan Stubbs
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.