The LSU Press will release Baton Rouge music critic and culture writer Alex V. Cook’s new book, “Louisiana Saturday Night” in March.
Cook’s book is an anecdotal history and guidebook of Louisiana’s backwoods bars, small-town dives, swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns, according to an LSU news release.
Cook uncovers south Louisiana’s wellspring of musical tradition, showing readers that indigenous music is not an artifact to be salvaged by preservationists, but a living, breathing, singing, laughing and crying part of Louisiana culture.
“Louisiana Saturday Night” will take readers to both offbeat and traditional venues in and around Baton Rouge, Cajun country and New Orleans, where they will hear the distinctive voices of musicians, patrons and club owners, like Teddy Johnson, born in the house that now serves as Teddy’s Juke Joint. Along the way, Cook ruminates on the cultural importance of the people and places he encounters, and shows their critical role in keeping Louisiana’s unique music alive.
Cook, who has previously published a book collection of his music writing, has published journalism and criticism in “The Oxford American,” “The Believer,” “The Wire” and “Downbeat.”