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.”
Nestled in the enchanting Warehouse Arts District of New Orleans, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art holds the largest collection of Southern art in the United States. Known for its original exhibitions, the museum also provides public events and educational programs to its visitors. The mission of the Ogden is to showcase the development of visual art alongside the history of Southern culture to provide a thorough narrative of the South. Since its establishment in 1999, the Museum brings in almost 85,000 visitors a year, composed of diverse audiences who desire to see the Ogden’s broad range of programming and extensive collections.