As surprising as it may seem, in 2019 Newsweek magazine called Baton Rouge music Mecca. And named the local Listening Room as the best place in the US to hear live music!

The music industry in Louisiana is one of the state’s most powerful economic and cultural engines, though most of the credit and attention typically goes to New Orleans. So, why, other than this outlier Newsweek plaudit,  is Baton Rouge music business overlooked? And what does the Capital Region have to offer in the music space?

Baton Rouge music with Chris Maxwell, Dustan Louque, Stephanie Riegel

Baton Rouge music promoter Chris Maxwell, musician Dustan Louque, Stephanie Riegel

Somebody who is well qualified to address these questions is Chris Maxwell. He’s owner of the Newsweek-lauded Red Dragon Listening Room, a local venue for live music that, as its name implies, really focuses on the music and the quality of the sound its artists produce, instead of the glitz and glam you might find in a larger concert arena.

Founded in the early 2000s, the Red Dragon Listening Room showcases Louisiana talent. And giving back to the community – it is a nonprofit – not a business. The Listening Room puts money back into the arts and other nonprofit organizations.

Though it is tucked away on Florida Boulevard in a neighborhood where you might not be looking for it, The Listening Room was recognized in 2019 by Newsweek magazine, no less, as one of the best places to hear acoustic music in a city that Newsweek described as “one of the top 10 music meccas in the world.”

Musician Dustan Louque Out to Lunch Baton Rouge

musician Dustan Louque turned his back on the music industry to roam the US in his van

Dustan Louque is a local artist, musician and songwriter, who was born in St. James Parish and came back to South Louisiana after spending time in Brooklyn.  Though Louque, as he is known, signed with a major record label early in his career, which led to a two-year stint touring and selling his music to films, he walked away from the corporate side of the business and these days, travels the country in his 1987 Westfalia,  performing year round and connecting on a more personal level with fans of his music.

Out to Lunch Baton Rouge is recorded over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard.

For more discussions over lunch about the Baton Rouge Music Business, check this out.