Keeping in line with blues tradition, the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation will host a Rent Party at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple (1339 North Blvd.) on April 7, 2016. This pre-festival party will feature a set by Brooklyn-based Mighty Fine. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Complimentary beverages will be provided.
About the venue
The Prince Hall Masonic Temple on North Boulevard has been home to many historical performances in its 90-year existence including Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Built in 1924, the building's Grand Ballroom (previously known as the Roof Garden) was a hub for many black social functions like debutante parties, cotillions, weddings and banquets. The legendary Tabby's Blues Box opened in a convenient spot across the street in 1979 and stayed until construction forced a move to Lafayette Street in 2000. Find out more about the Masonic Temple.
About Mighty Fine
New York has been Mighty Fine's stomping ground (really, a sweating/rump shaking ground) for more than a decade, but New Orleans was the training ground for singer Steve Myers. In fact, Myers spent several minutes bleeding on the ground in front of his 504 house, after being shot six times in a 1999 random act of violence. He'd just returned from a worldwide tour opening for Aerosmith with The Afghan Whigs. After learning how to walk again, he moved to New York to recover. Years later in 2003, Myers met a fellow Nola/NY transplant and decided to start a band. Having shared the stage with names like TV On the Radio, Titus Andronicus and The Slackers, Myers and the rest of Mighty Fine are ready to bring their soul-review-meets-rock-n-roll sounds to Baton Rouge.
What is a Rent Party?
Rent parties originated in 1920s Harlem to raise money for musicians as a means to pay the rent. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation and support its mission to promote, preserve and advance Baton Rouge blues culture. The inaugural Rent Party was held before the 2013 Baton Rouge Blues Festival. A truly can't miss experience, unexpected collaborations and impromptu sets are typical, including one from 2013 performers Blind Boy Paxton and Lavelle White, and in 2014, a special performance from Brother Dege, Chris Thomas King and Larry Garner.