New music venue pays homage to Tabby Thomas

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge has a new home for the blues. Henry Turner Jr.'s Listening Room officially opens its doors at 8 p.m. on Thursday, and the club's namesake hopes the new spot will foster young talent in the Capital City.

"You could be 21 or you could be 91, as long as you got original music. Let's just say this: No covers allowed here. There will be no cover music. It'll be the opposite of playing in a bar," Turner said. "We just want to give people the opportunity to present who they really are."

Turner dedicates the space to long-time friend and blues legend Tabby Thomas. Thomas passed away January 1st at the age of 84.

"The dream was always to have a venue where I could share the philosophy of 'If you grow original music, it will make a great Louisiana commodity,' because I do believe that the music from Louisiana is one of the greatest resources," Turner said. "Of course Tabby was a great pioneer in  Baton Rouge for that, and we always respected that, but when we lost him we lost a treasure when we lost the Blues Box, so I felt like the time was perfect to pay homage and try something."

Turner's Listening Room is alcohol-free so that patrons can enjoy music free from any distractions. The mic is open to original artists from all genres except Rap.

"The freedom of expression through creative music artists is when they have a venue to hone that, to deal with that. That's what the Blues Box was all about. That's what Tabby's was all about," Turner said.

Find Henry Turner Jr.'s Listening Room at 2733 North Street near the intersection of Eugene Street. The club will open Thursday and Friday nights for the time being.

Cover for Thursday's Grand Opening is $10.