Over the past month and a half Tipitina’s Music Co-Op of Shreveport has brought an impressive string of shows to Shreveport.
The four shows booked this spring were Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, Primus, and Dr. John. Usually Shreveport will only host shows of this magnitude every once in a while, but to have all four a week or two apart from one another is unprecedented for the city.
These shows have helped benefit the Tipitina’s Foundation, which helps Louisiana musicians all across the state. Proceeds from these shows help fund programs like Instruments A Comin’, which gives millions of dollars worth of instruments to Louisiana schools, as well as funding state-wide co-ops.
The foundation was formed out of the success of the New Orleans’ nightclub under the same name which pays tribute to famed pianist Professor Longhair. If you visit the uptown club, make sure to rub the bust of his bald head upon entry. The Tipitina’s Foundation played a big part in preserving New Orleans’ music culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and has only grown larger from there.
Ovis Means, manager of the Shreveport Co-Op explains, “Tipitina’s has relationships with everyone in the music business. They are constantly talking to agents for the club, and booking events around New Orleans.”
All of the Shreveport shows were booked at The Strand Theatre with the exception of Gov’t Mule, which was at the Municipal Auditorium. Overall the shows were well supported by the city, but could have used a little extra love at times. This was especially true at the Gov’t Mule show, which had to close part of the upper level due to lack of attendance. It is important to note, though, that the capacity of the Municipal is almost double that of The Strand. This did not take away from them putting on a great show that night which lasted more than three hours.
These shows were a breath of fresh air for the city, unlike usual shows booked just to attract gamblers from Texas. Hopefully we as a city can continue to support live music to have more quality music booked here on a regular basis.
“I enjoyed all the shows,” Kim Webb of Shreveport said. “I love to support our local music scene as much as I can, but was super excited about these four shows. Tedeschi Trucks and Dr. John were my favorites, but was disappointed at the turnout for Dr. John show. The Strand is such an enchanting place to see shows.”
The impact of these shows can be seen in downtown Shreveport at the Tipitina’s Co-Op location at 700 Texas Street. The co-op has rehearsal spaces available for local bands, and a full office downstairs with resources to help local musicians. In face, this summer there will be an interactive class to help bands with music business skills.
“We will be bringing in the Professor of Music Business from Loyola University,” said Means. “It will be a three month class that focuses on three key points which are The Foundations of Setting up a Business, Management of the Business, and Marketing and Promotion of that Business.”
The class will be open to all Co-Op members (membership is $15 a month). Visit the office downstairs to sign up.
Other things to keep an eye out for in the future are Tipitina’s Add It Up events at Artspace, which will focus on local singer songwriters, and the opening of Tips on Texas, a music venue opening in the basement of Lofts@624 Texas.
Check Tipitina’s Co-Op Shreveport’s Facebook page for updates.
Photo: Gov’t Mule on April 23 at the Municipal Auditorium by Chris DeRosia.