Any day that starts with a garbage bag full of fresh crawfish, homemade cocktail sauce, wine, and bluegrass music is likely to end well… If first impressions count the most, I’m moving to Louisiana.
Big thanks to John and Alan for the warm welcome and great food. John regaled me with stories about the clubs known as the ‘crawfish circuit’ and salt&pepper bands. Imagine a mixed race band playing across the South in the 50s. Johnny said those mesh wire cages really were used…

Spent the afternoon and evening hanging out with Alex Cook, writer for the local 225Magazine. Got another history lesson: Leadbelly (godfather of the blues) got a pardon from Earl Long and was released from Angola Prison when his musical talent was discovered by an RCA talent scout. He was serving a life sentence for murder. Many bluesmen spent time in jails – Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, ‘Bukka’ White.
Very interested to learn that in the 50s, black music was sold in non-traditional outlets (barbershops, etc), while white music was sold in the mainstream record stores and appliance stores (note: just like the current chopped&screwed. Amazing parallels).
Alex took me on a great musical tour in the evening. Started off at Teddy’s Juke Joint – hundred year old shack out in the woods – for some blues from blind Bryan Lee. Would have partaken of the homemade BBQ, but we’d eaten. Settled for mud pie…
Then on to Red Star for some swamp-cajun-rock-boogie from Shreveport’s Dirtfoot. Amazing sound – guitars, standup bass, sax, pans (as in kitchen pans), drums, and a drop by euphonium player (a shrunken tuba). Plus ad hoc percussion from the crowd. Picked up their CD.
Gentle end to the evening with some jam band music at Chelsea’s.
Hope to be back here.


  1. Edith
    April 04, 2006 at 6:14am
    I am really enjoying your posts from around the country now that I have the pandora RSS feed syndication in my blogreading list. Thanks! Edith
  2. Micki
    April 04, 2006 at 7:08am
    It looks like you had a lot of fun!! I want to THANK Pandora's Staff for allowing me to listen to my any kind of music when ever I want. Thanks.
  3. Rhett
    April 04, 2006 at 10:23am
    Glad you had a good time in Baton Rouge, the place I call home. Baton Rouge is a great place for the blues. When I was a DJ for WBRH (local H.S. station) I played the prerecoded shows during weekend including "The Blues Box" hosted by local blues favorite Tabby Thomas. It was a great weekend job. As far as night spots go, Red Star was my favorite. Some of my favorite Baton Rouge artists include Liquidrone and Bones. Anyhow, glad to hear you had a good time.
  4. raena
    April 04, 2006 at 11:34am
    so how would you describe the taste of crawfish?
  5. Camilo
    April 04, 2006 at 1:16pm
    I have just joined your Pandora site and set my own account and I decided to say that I am enjoying it very, very much. I am 58 years old and a former radio man back in the sixties. I can now dream and dream and dream, while tears go rolling down because of memories of long ago...God bless you all. From a Jazz Chewer Camilo
  6. Tim Westergren
    April 04, 2006 at 1:53pm
    hi raene - I would describe them as "sweet tender shrimp" Delicious. I ate way too many.
  7. Bryan
    April 04, 2006 at 3:01pm
    I just joined this service a couple of day ago and am pleased with what you offer. I am always trying to find new music to listen to. I have a suggestion for making the experience more enjoyable. I was looking for artists similar to The White Stripes and one of the bands that came up was Death Cab for Cutie. I am a fan of both bands, but Death Cab and the Stripes are worlds apart musically. The only option that I noticed for removing the song was, "I hate this song/band; never play them again", but like I said I like Death Cab, I just don't think that they belong on the same playlist with the Stripes. Maybe you guys could create an option for removing the band because they don't really fit in stylistically or musically with the artist that was selected initially. Thank you for your time. Bryan
  8. Tom Conrad
    April 04, 2006 at 3:05pm
    Hi Bryan, Feedback that you provide to Pandora is always "context sensitive". When you tell us that you don't like Death Cab on your White Stripes station, that information will only effect your White Stripes station. It won't effect future stations you create or a Death Cab station should you make one. Tom CTO @ Pandora
  9. Jess
    April 05, 2006 at 2:54am
    Hi Tim, I joined Pandora a little while ago and loved it as does everyone I suggest it to! I love your blog from Baton Rouge, I spent last year of degree there and seeing the crawfish on newspaper picture brought back so many good memories! I went to Red Star a couple of times and thought it was a great place too. Jess
  10. Eija
    April 05, 2006 at 4:22am
    Have you ever thought stretching your musical trip to Europe? I am sure we could sweep your feet away with some great talents. Actually I have been wondering when you are going to add world music to your repertoire. Not that I am complaining, on the contrary! Pandora has been a great joy to me, as it has been to so many Finns. Keep on your good work! Eija
  11. Dueckter Dubya
    April 05, 2006 at 7:05pm
    Tim, You seem to be running very hard on behalf of Pandora and the Music Genome. While you are down south you should take a short break from work and play one of the great golf courses along the Trent Jones Trail in Alabama. I'm sure you can rent a set of clubs at any of those many courses. With all the time you're putting in on Pandora I imagine your golf game has suffered mightily. Time for a break?
  12. Dolores DeAngelis
    April 07, 2006 at 5:08am
    Hello, Is this possible?? Since I downloaded PANDORA, it seems I've been getting more Junk Mail than ever. Is this at all possible that my e-mail address is out there for others to see??? Thank you, Dolores
  13. Tom Conrad
    April 07, 2006 at 10:21am
    Hi Dolores, I can assure you that there is no connection between your junk mail and Pandora. We never, ever make your email address available to others. Best, Tom CTO @ Pandora
  14. emeline
    April 08, 2006 at 11:23am
    hi! I just discovered Pandora and created an account, it's amazing. I'm having so much fun discovering great new bands. So when will Pandora be available around the world? Emeline
  15. Tim Westergren
    April 08, 2006 at 6:15pm
    hi emeline - we're working on int'l stuff - it's all about licensing. Hopefully in the coming year things will start to clear up to allow webcasters like us to operate easily in other countries. Stay tuned... Cheers. Tim
  16. Ray Leyderos
    April 09, 2006 at 6:25am
    hi!i found you,ever since the day i entered the U.S.A. iam looking of my favorite music on air like your's, you make my day complete.thanks for having you through this web site.more power!!!go... go... go pandora!
  17. Jen
    April 12, 2006 at 8:57am
    Hey Tim! So nice meeting you at the Chimes. I see the rest of your trip has been going well! Keep up the great work.
  18. punk rock chick
    April 13, 2006 at 12:52pm
    here is a big ROCK ON to the people that put this site up ...i listen to it everyday ...and i think it works for every one keep rocking
  19. J Bratlie
    April 16, 2006 at 3:31pm
    Thanks for the great words. It was nice meeting you and hope you enjoyed the music ....J (banjo - Dirtfoot)
  20. Rachel
    April 18, 2006 at 7:56am
    I'm glad Louisiana treated you right. WHEN you come back, I'd suggest checking out Lafayette. It's pretty much the home of cajun and zydeco music. Plus, there's bound to be a festival to suit your tastes. thanks for everything! -rachel
  21. camille
    April 19, 2006 at 3:45pm
    Hey Tim. Glad you enjoyed your trip down here. Sounds like you went to some cool places. its great you were able to listen to some of the jazz, zydeco, bluegrass etc. bands unique to Louisiana. However, Baton Rouge has a great Rock scene as well. if you come back down, perhaps consider checking out some of the bands and venues that cater to this genre.
  22. john petersen
    April 22, 2006 at 5:06pm
    i am new to Pandora and i just want to say what a great resource it is. thank you. i wish you continued success. having tried to create the ultimate listening station for myself with Pandora containing many disparate music sources, i just would like to share with you one initial thought. it seems that the playlist pretty much sticks with one genre at a time. i was hoping that it would shift around quite a bit more. if i were making my own compilation that is what i would do. it would make for a more interseting mix. that's my 2cents. do what you will with it. keep up the great work. best - j
  23. Kevin
    April 22, 2006 at 7:28pm
    Hi Tim! We have really enjoyed the tunes you have been providing.Just read portions of your blog and it sounds like a fun time is being had in the South. Going more international is a great idea. I spent most my life in Japan and have been telling my friends about If you need help with the language, let me know.
  24. c
    April 28, 2006 at 8:02pm
    Even though you have already left Louisiana, here are some good Baton Rouge bands: Reception is Suspected, Justinbailey, and Brenton and the Brentones. You can check out all of their pages on myspace.
  25. Matt
    May 02, 2006 at 4:59pm
    Sorry I missed you when you came to town. Have recently discovered Gave it a plug on the air on 1150 AM WJBO here in Baton Rouge today. Keep up the good work!
  26. Michele
    May 04, 2006 at 2:33pm
    Hi, guys! Love Pandora. Glad you liked BR and NOLA. I hail from BR and agree with Rachel who suggested y'all check out Lafayette when you come back. You're sure to get some great Cajun andh Zydeco music there. And speaking of Cajun and Zydeco, I notice that Pandora is missing those generes. I know this because I tried to set up a Beausoleil station and got nothing. A Wayne Toups station would be nice as well. Think you guys will be getting some Cajun and Zydeco anytime soon?
  27. sandy
    July 06, 2006 at 6:18pm
    Hi ya Just found u today thru Kim Kommando's tip of the day... Love it and the idea. One problem here, I have been reading your blog and about the trip thru LA and the visit to NOLA and Baton Rouge,,, a swamp pop band from Shreveport,, get real, the best swamp pop bands are right there around Baton Rouge over in Gonzales and south. By the way where are they at on here on Pandora. Loooking for music stations like this that play my favorite kind of music thanks for pandora awesome
  28. J Bratlie
    August 09, 2006 at 8:40pm
    Sandy, I understand the disbelief in a band from Shreveport, but it's true. Check out the wonder that is Dirtfoot on myspace, or just google us. You will be glad you did. Thanks -Dirtfoot
  29. Chugabooe
    October 25, 2006 at 2:52pm
    I know you guys have already been to Lousiana, but one group you should deffinately check out is Jack Fate. They are based in Baton Rogue I believe. They have a myspace. One of the best bands I've heard in awhile.
  30. Alan
    November 16, 2006 at 12:33am
    Next time you're in town (or anywhere else really), check out Baton Rouge's own Red Stick Ramblers. They brew up some mighty fine cajun gympsy swing. I believe they even opened for Emmylou Harris on one tour. It's a guaranteed good show.
  31. chris
    April 25, 2007 at 11:40am
    Next time your in LA don't forget to visit Lafayette. The heart of French Louisiana. Cajun and Creole Culture and Music
  32. Teedy
    June 28, 2007 at 1:01pm
    When are you coming back to Baton Rouge?
    August 29, 2007 at 8:15am
    is there any way to listen to complete albums?
  34. Glenda L
    March 17, 2008 at 2:33pm
    check out Elvis Barker- local boy from Melville, La. He resides in Jarreau Louisiana now. He has two CD's out the 1st is Forever or Nothing. I think it is his best. Personally my favorite is Who should I choose. He hasn't done much singing since his 1st wife died of pancretic cancer. Forever or Nothing was written before she died.It was his favorite, I think it was for her. He has a web site just type ElvisBarker and it will lead you to it
  35. John
    April 28, 2008 at 5:01pm
    Glad you had a time here in the dirty south. You should do a night like that in New Orleans its easy lots more music
  36. Greg
    December 26, 2008 at 2:57pm
    You should come to Shreveport, LA
  37. Frank
    July 08, 2009 at 12:28pm
    Next in Louisiana visit Lafayette and surrounding cities for a unique cajun zideco blues combination all wrapped in one!!!!!!!!!!

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