John Burns at Dyson House for Red

John Burns, owner of the former Dyson House Listening Room

In December, Dyson House Listening Room founder John Burns sold the property where the music venue sits at 7575 Jefferson Highway. Thinking January would be his last month at the location, he booked an exceptional lineup.

The 11 scheduled performances at Dyson House in January are the most shows in a single month in the venue’s three-year history.

“I wanted to go out with a bang,” Burns said. “I’m excited about every one of the shows.”

Following nearly 400 performances since Dyson House opened in 2015, Burns is seeking a new location to continue the listening room when the current building finally closes its doors. January is on the books, but Dyson House will remain at 7575 Jefferson Highway through March 31, Burns said. He will rent the space from the property's new owner, Bocage Centre LLC. One option is moving post-March shows to his nearby business, Christian Street Furniture, 7474 Corporate Blvd.

“I love the music,” Burns said. “I want to keep it going, but it’s just not practical to do it there.”

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The Dyson House Listening Room on Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge presented 180 concerts from December 2015 to July 2017 featuring local and regional music artists. 

The Dyson House’s blockbuster January includes the second appearance there by New Orleans singer-songwriter Lynn Drury on Friday, Jan. 4. When Drury opened for Andrew Duhon earlier this year, Burns said, “she stole the show. Andrew is well-thought of here, but everybody loved Lynn. She’s coming back with a full band.”

Willis Alan Ramsey will perform Jan. 16. His songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Lyle Lovett and Eric Clapton.

Other January shows include Grammy-winning New Orleans singer-pianist Jon Cleary on Jan. 25; rising Americana-country-punk artist Sarah Shook on Jan. 27; and two more returning New Orleans-based acts, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue on Jan. 18 and Kristin Diable, a Baton Rouge native, on Jan. 19.

In July 2017, Dyson House closed due to building code issues, but the venue reopened last May. Since then the listening room has hosted nearly 40 performances. Recent shows include John Paul White, Peter Rowan and Grammy-winning Baton Rouge blues artist Chris Thomas King. Several noted New Orleans artists have also played the venue, including Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Leo Nocentelli, John Papa Gros, Papa Mali and Amanda Shaw.

Regarding his sale of the property near the intersection of Jefferson Highway and Corporate Boulevard, Burns cited the loan he had on the property as an expense he no longer wanted to bear. He sold the site on Dec. 20 for $1.5 million to Bocage Centre LLC, which plans to build a mixed-use development.

Reaction to the sale among Dyson House followers has been supportive, Burns said.

“I think they realize my goal was not to tear down paradise and put up a parking lot,” he said. “We had a good three-year run. We did the best we could with what we had. Sometimes you close one door and you open another.”

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect that Dyson House Listening Room will stay at its current location through March 31.