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Ouachita Live jams on the last Friday of the month

Ouachita Live
Ouachita Live Facebook

Downtown West Monroe has announced the full 2023 season lineup for the downtown monthly concert series, Ouachita Live. The free outdoor series will take place the last Friday of every month from March through October in Alley Park from 7 to 9 p.m.

The concerts feature on site food trucks and spirits are available to purchase from local restaurants. Ouachita Live also partners with the Ouachita River Blues Society to bring local artists from the community to headline the events.

The first concert will feature D.K. Harrell and his band. Recipient of the B.B. King “King of the Blues” Award, Ruston native D.K. Harrell is described as an emerging giant in the Blues world. He has appeared at NOLA Crescent City Blues Fest, Ground Zero in Clarksdale, MS, and he recently represented the B.B. King Museum at the Mississippi Delta Blues Fest in Brazil. In 2022, he placed third in the International Blues Challenge out of over two hundred finalists from around the world.

April 28 features Sad Daddy, bringing old-time country, bluegrass, and folk to the stage. According to City of West Monroe Main Street Director Adrienne LaFrance-Wells, their wandering harmonies transport listeners to a nostalgic foot-stomping, moonshine-swigging holler deep in the Arkansas mountains.

May 26 is the Northeast Louisiana Blues Masters Showcase with appearances from local acts and surprise guests.

June 30 has Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie that livens up with zydeco and Cajun music.

July 28 has Kent Burnside and His Band brings Blues from the Delta.

August 25 brings Shelley King and Her Band that roots-rock with some gospel tunes.

September 29 presents Ouachita Blues River Society Blues Challenge Winners from the competition in July, showcasing blues from the delta.

October 27 rounds out the concerts with Alexey Marti who branches into Latin/Cuban/Jazz/World.

The concerts feature on-site food trucks and spirits are available to purchase from local restaurants and is open to the public.

Ouachita River Blues Society (ORBS) is a local Blues society created to preserve and honor the art form of Blues which is noted as the bedrock of American music. According to ORBS President D.K. Harrell, the Society was formed as a way to offer north Louisiana more opportunities for the Blues.

ORBS will cohost a local Blues competition with the Krewe of Janus on Sunday, July 16, featuring three performance categories: band, solo/duo, and youth.
The competition will be open to the public to attend and to any musicians who wish to compete. The prizes for the Blues competition winners include headlining the Ouachita Live concert in September, as well as other paid concerts, studio time, and marketing assistance.

Also announced with the Ouachita Live season, the National Park Service in partnership with Jefferson National Parks Association presented a grant to the Downtown West Monroe Revitalization Group to help with Ouachita Live community concerts, music programming and educational activities to be held in
the South Riverfront Cultural District and the downtown district.

More information at Ouachita Live Facebook , Ouachita River Blues Society Facebook or the Ouachita River Blues Society website.

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Destinee M. Andrews is a senior majoring in Communications with a Public Relations focus at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.