Rouge is the musical no man’s land between funky New Orleans and
canaille Lafayette. It has one thing neither city has—the Red
Dragon Listening Room—a venue concept that will never make it
in Uptown New Orleans or in the Hub City because it’s a club that
is not designed to make a profit, ever.
“All the money goes to the musicians,” says owner Chris Maxwell.
“We don’t sell anything. It’s just about the music.”
Folkie and singer/songwriter touring acts, including Jimmy Lafave,
Chris Knight, Webb Wilder, Fred Eaglesmith, Truckstop Honeymoon,
Will Kimbrough, as well as Louisianans Susan Cowsill, David Egan
and Spencer Bohren can attest to one thing: Maxwell loves music.
He loves the folk scene so much that he bought the former Lillie’s
Tavern, a cinder-block bomb shelter of a bar on Florida Boulevard
near Magnolia Cemetery, so he could bring in the musicians he
wants to hear and invite 75 of his closest friends.
“It’s like a big house party,” Maxwell says of concert night at
the Dragon. He modeled the smoke-free, BYOB venue after Oklahoma
City’s Blue Door, a dilapidated, earthy spot where Midwestern
touring folkies can always find a stage.
The Red Dragon thrives on the kindness of strangers to keep its
doors open. Patrons donated their time to install a stage, rudimentary
lighting and sound system. They built a security fence during
a community event dubbed Fencepalooza. Roofapalooza is coming.
Folks have also donated the super-comfy sofa seating reserved
for VIP customers.
Gorka live at the Red Dragon Listening Room on Jan. 14, 2014
2401 Florida Street, Baton Rouge
Recorded by Jamey firnberg
here for more info about him
Gorka to perform at Red Dragon Listening Room on Jan. 14, 2014
By Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com |
January 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM.
John Gorka's new album drops sometime in March, it'll represent
not only the fruits of three decades' work but also a new approach
to an well-worn, familiar path for the folk artist. Gorka first
will take an unfamiliar one to Baton Rouge and the Red Dragon
Listening Room, where he'll perform his first show ever in the
city Jan. 16.
Gorka first officially began his musical career in 1984 when he
won the New Folk Award, an honor that clued him in to thinking
other people might actually enjoy his music.
"It was the firs time I started to get the idea … that maybe there
might be a larger audience out there who would like what I was
doing," Gorka said. "After that, I got asked to play a couple
festivals, and this was before I had any kind of recordings out.
That was a nice boost for my confidence."
Since then, Gorka has been on a circuit of quirky opera houses
and listening spaces and he's released more than a dozen albums.
For the next one, however, he changed his approach, which is why
fans have waited a little longer than they've been used to in
the past 10 years.
did it a little bit at a time over a long period of time," Gorka
said. "This way I can see how the performances held up over
time for me."
Shelf life is an important aspect to Gorka's writing, especially
now when he's still called upon to perform songs more than two
don't mind that people like the old songs," he said. "I like
them, too. The shows are kind of like I'm telling a story, and
if I leave out the beginning, then the story doesn't make much
The new collection of songs, entitled "Bright Side of Down,"
is expected to see a March release. The album, Gorka admits,
has a wintery theme simply based on the grouping of songs that
came out of his time in the studio. The theme was more accident
"The working title of the last several projects has been 'Illusion
of Control,'" Gorka laughed. Gorka performs at the Red Dragon
Listening Room on Thursday, Jan. 16 with
Gina Forsyth opening. Tickets are $30 or $40 for reserved VIP
seating. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
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