Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bayou X Two

1979 ad in Unicorn Times

With all the nostalgia between The Bayou documentary and the ongoing punk/funk exhibit at the Corcoran, there might be some confusion when I mention that King Soul is playing The Bayou this Saturday night. Same name, different clubs, different times.

I'm not sure how the first Bayou got its name, but I'm guessing it was the location- down by the river under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown. As far as I remember, it was a roomy place for a small venue with a balconied second floor that was a great spot to watch bands and the melee below, but in later years, the mean roving bouncers wouldn't  let you stand up there. I think you had to sit at a table most of the time which was hard to do when a band was rocking or you couldn't find a seat. Some shows I remember having to wander around the whole time.

The new Bayou, just outside Georgetown on Pennsylvania Avenue, is clearly named for its New Orleans' style food and cocktails. It feels a lot smaller than the old Bayou, and it's just as funky, but the second floor is devoted to drinking and music. When the band comes on,  all the tables are moved for dancing. If you want to, you can still  retreat downstairs to the other bar for a drink or to have a bite, and no one will stop you. (The food is a bit pricey, but the oyster po'boy I had last time was top notch.) King Soul has more than its share of soul driven musicians who know what it means to miss NewOrleans, and last time they played here, the band took no prisoners when it came to filling that dance floor.


  1. Thanks LC. My first job in DC was at the Bayou making pizza and sandwiches in the kitchen and/or working the box office and I heard a lot of great music: John Prine, Flock of Seagulls, Big Country and so many more. I even heard a young, leather-clad, Eddie Murphy do very blue stand-up. It was great to get off of work and dance cheek to jowl with other concert goers to some burgeoning punk band. Now that I live in New Orleans, I'm aware of the simpatico between DC and NOLA. Not only the music scene but also how people get to know each other and just hang out over some beer and crabs in the back yard on a muggy summer night. But you and yours figured that out long before I did. Sheila

  2. Wow I didn't know that about you.How did that not come up all the hours we logged at the back bar at 9:30? Learn something every day..