I read a very interesting article today on the KPLC page about how much the music scene has changed here in Lake Charles. The majority of the article dealt with bands and artists that have played at the Lake Charles Civic Center over the years. Some pretty amazing people have graced the stage at the civic center not to mention the many venues that used to exist in this area.

The article from KPLC mentions the Bamboo Club and a few other venues that booked some pretty big names over the years. I was surprized to read that a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix even appeared in Lake Charles as a member of Little Richaed's back-up band. One venue that was not mentioned in the article was the Bog Oaks Club. When I was in school, it was a big deal to drive to Louisiana to see the Boogie Kings at the Big Oaks Club.

In the past few years, it's become obvious that there are a great many very talented people lving right here in the Lake area and I often wonder why we don't show more support to our local talent. This past weekend was Chuck Fest and it was a great opportunity to see some works of the very talented people we have here in the Lake area. I'm not just talking about painters and such when I mention artists. There are a lot of very talented musicians in this town.

While I was enjoying Chuck Fest, I stopped in at Stellar Beans and there was a young man performing there. I have no idea who he was, but he was excellent. There were fewer than a dozen people in the place and almost no one was paying the slightest bit of attention to this talented young man. When he finsihed a song, there was no applause; people just went on about their business.

For the past several weeks, I've been furnishing my new place. Part of that furnishing has been finding art for my walls. I have been all over the internet looking for pieces that would fit my style. Wouldn't you know that at Chuck Fest, I found a local artist that had the perfect piece for my home.Not only was it perfect for my places, but I now know the artist and it gives the piece a little special something.

I've found local audiences to be very dismissive of local talent and I'm not sure why that is. One would think that people would want to encourage local talent instead of ignoring them when they perform for us. How much does it cost to give encouragement to these performers.

Don't think I'm singling out Lake Charles, but audiences in the city seem to think that applause is asking too much.. The situation is the same in several towns where I have lived, but it just seems that, as much civic pride as we have here, that we would show more support to local talent.

Next time you're in a venue that has live performers, at least give them a bit of applause after they have performed for you. As easy as it looks, most people can't get up in front of a crowd and perform. All the reward these performers ask for is a bit of encouragement in the form of applause.

Here's the bottom line. Wehave so much going for us here and sometimes, I'm sure we all take it for granted. Our quality of life is excellent and, for the most part, it's a pretty laid back life here. Lake Charles is a good place to live. The thing that is missing is the masses embracing the artistic community.

I've lived in larger towns and smaller towns and I've learned one thing. those place that embraced their local talent and culture just seemed to be happier, more friendly places. Part of the charm of cities like Austin, for example, is that they not only support local performers, they embrace them. People in Austin are no more tlanted than people from Lake Charles. They just have the support of the community.

Next time you're at Stellar Beans or any of the other places around town that feature locla performers, give them their due. We need to encourage our local talent. If we all start taking a moment to appreciate our local talent, you'd be surprizedat the difference it would make to the music and art scenes in Lake Charles.

Give local a chance.