West Baton Rouge Museum in collaboration with 89.3 WRKF, the NPR (National Public Radio) affiliate for the greater Baton Rouge area is excited to announce a star-studded line up for the April 21st, 2023 Historical Happy Hour event. Mark your calendars and get ready to give a round of applause for Nick Spitzer and Kenny Neal! Anyone wishing to immerse themselves in the rich history of local Blues culture will not want to miss this 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM evening event which is FREE and open to the public.
As told by Tulane professor, anthropologist, folklorist, American Routes radio host and executive producer, and former state folklorist who helped to launch Baton Rouge Blues Fest in 1981, Dr. Nick Spitzer will share stories and sound clips from previous interviews aired on American Routes featuring the voices of legends in relation to the Baton Rouge scene. During his career, having conducted over 1,200 interviews with musicians and artists, Nick Spitzer is also a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Other honors include a Guggenheim, an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, Louisiana Humanist of the Year, and Lifetime awards from the University of Louisiana, the Louisiana Folklore Society, and the American Folklore Society.
As his website states, “If you want to experience the ‘Real Deal’, take time out to find Kenny Neal!” The Grammy nominated and BMA (Blues Music Awards) winning artist and second-generation south Louisiana bluesman with West Baton Rouge Parish roots will share the stage and add to the commentary with his own tales and the help of his harmonica and guitar. When he was just three years old, Slim Harpo gave him his first harmonica, and at age 13, he was playing in his father, Raful Neal’s band. By the time he was 17, Kenny landed a job playing bass for Buddy Guy, and the rest is history.
At West Baton Rouge Museum’s Historical Happy Hour, the drinks are on you, and the history is on us! Be sure to bring your own blankets or lawn chairs and liquid refreshment to enjoy this evening event under the stars in front of the Juke Joint. In case of inclement weather, the event will move indoors.