Grant Street Dancehall returns to its live music roots with a full month of shows in May.
The building is over 100 years old. Built of brick and cypress wood. After getting its start as a fruit warehouse, the building eventually became a live music venue. Grant Street Dancehall officially came into being on July 4, 1980. On that night, the King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier and the Red Beans & Rice Revue played the club. Over the ensuing years, Grant Street Dancehall quickly became the preeminent live music venue in town.
The club found a place in peoples’ hearts. Even its flaws — such as the intense heat in the building during summertime shows — became part of its charm, harking back to the barn dance days of old. Since Grant Street first opened its doors, the stage has been graced by many a legend. The list is long and includes Ray Charles, B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jerry Lee Lewis.
The club changed hands numerous times over the decades, with each owner doing his best to keep the live music coming. Around 2007, live music in downtown Lafayette took a back seat to the burgeoning, and sometimes more lucrative, nightclub scene. In effort to keep the bills paid, Grant Street — as well as many other downtown clubs — began catering to the club crowd, hosting well-attended hip-hop themed nights and similar club events.
Cut to 2010. With a resurgence in enthusiasm for live music in Acadiana, a growing contingent of musicians, promoters and fans began making a concerted effort to get live music back into Grant Street Dancehall on a consistent basis. Over the past few months, local musician Drew Landry quietly started booking a number of touring rock and roots shows into Grant Street — Jason Isbell (Drive-by Truckers), Son Volt, etc. — in the hopes that people would turn up. With the news that Grant Street is returning to its roots as a live music club, people have gradually come back for shows at the club.
“There’s no hip hop anymore at Grant Street,” says Landry. “It’s been gone for three months now with no plans to bring it back.” After a two-year period where the club’s primary source of revenue came from the hip-hop Saturday nights, there is now a return to the roots with every weekend in May booked for live music. “This month we’ll see if Lafayette music fans really want to support bigger live music shows,” says Landry. “Lafayette’s a good stopover between Houston and New Orleans for touring bands. And we’re going to bring them in and see what happens.”
Unquestionably, the most high-profile of these upcoming shows will be the appearance of folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens, on May 6, at Grant Street. No one who has ever seen footage of the 1969 Woodstock festival can ever forget the site and sound of the sweat-drenched Havens, soulfully playing his way through a three-hour opening set that included the improvised song “Freedom,” which somehow magically captured the all-idealistic hopes of the 1960s.
Other killer shows slated for May include the dark and twisty death pop of Dax Riggs and the old-time string band Old Crow Medicine Show, which veers from bluegrass to Americana to alt-country. There is no shame in attempting to recapture the old glory days of Grant Street Dancehall. The owners and staff are passionate about continuing the legacy of this establishment, so if you’re a music fan and would like to participate, you’d be well-advised to turn up at any of the following shows being held throughout the month of May at Grant Street Dancehall.
April 30 - Roebucks, Gin & Tonics, Howdies
May 1 - Dax Riggs, Julian Primeaux and his Royal Rowdy Co.
May 2 - The Old Crow Medicine Show
May 6 - Richie Havens w/ Kenneth Richard & friends
May 8 - Family Tree Fundraiser: Cedric Watson, The Canes, Drew Landry, and many more
May 14 - KNEK night
May 15 - Roddie Romero
May 22 - March of Dimes Fundraiser
May 29 - Scott H. Biram, The Freetown Hound
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage