Step back in time to an era of juke joints, and it’s “White Night” in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Here in Elvis country are the old juke joints, where down-home blues birthed rockabilly music, making Presley its great king.Elvis Presley came to fame with the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.
The Roque House is a juke joint located on a small street in East Natchitoches, where the last Friday of the month black and white customers gather in clusters to listen to blues rockabilly style, eat the best of barbeque, and drink the sort of beer that multiplies sensation all around.
Lights dim in the joint at 9:00 p.m , but spotlight pool table and performers, as people mingle and dance with abandon, forgetting daytime differences in the magic of believing. Here people come to reminisce, dream, and reach for what folks like Elvis brought to public fame, something special, that takes away the grime of grief and anger that separates, so just pure joy shines through.
Hardrick Rivers is the King of blues in Natchitoches, as he performs in cafes, bars restaurants and for special occasions regularly. But the Roque House brings Rivers to his natural best. The very walls seem to wrap his music like a comfortable old shirt that embraces everyone.
White night in Natchitoches shows once again the dichotomy of bad and beautiful of Louisiana, a place where food is special, music upbeat delivered here and other places and original, art of all kinds the best, even as politics rest on the opposite side of the fulcrum to weigh the good place down. That’s Louisiana defined, the place in America the country couldn’t do without, that shows up once a month in a small town in the South called Natchitoches.