The 19th-century Patrick F. Taylor Library at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, University of New Orleans, is currently closed to the public while being restored to its original grandeur. But its doors were opened to a select few on a warm April night for a concert as unique as the setting: Booker T. and the Drive-by Truckers, with special guest Bettye LaVette. Under the sculpted oak beams of the library’s vaulted ceiling, rich soul music kept the crowd on its feet late into the night.
Booker T. Jones is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame keyboardist for Booker T & the MGs, which played on dozens of R&B classics for Stax Records. He released his first solo album in two decades in April 2009 – Potato Hole, featuring Neil Young and southern rockers the Drive-By Truckers (one of the most respected musical acts today – both as an independent group and as a backing band), which The New York Times hailed as “more pithy and forceful than ever.” Of Bettye LaVette, The New York Times said, “Classic soul singing doesn’t get any better.”