Dardenne: Music a magnet for people to come experience Louisiana

By By John Guidroz / American Press

The rich history and culture within Louisiana’s music scene inspired Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne to make a list of his favorite

Louisiana artists and songs that are most identified with the state.

Dardenne spoke to the Rotary Club of Lake Charles on Tuesday about the list he compiled showcasing a variety of Louisiana-based

musicians. His office has spent the past year promoting Louisiana’s music as a major tourist attraction.

“It’s such a magnet for people to come experience the things that we sometimes take for granted,” he said.

Dardenne said he made a 64-song “gumbo bracket” that separates the music into four categories. The bracket system, he said,

is similar to the one used during the NCAA college basketball tournament.

Dardenne said the bracket is divided

into four categories: roux, for the songs about New Orleans or performed

by New Orleans-based

artists; spice, for zydeco and Cajun music; rice, for country and

rockabilly; and lagniappe, for other genres.

During the presentation, Dardenne

highlighted several Louisiana-based musicians, including Dr. John, Aaron

Neville and Harry

Connick Jr. He said he picked his favorites and let a group of

people vote on his Facebook page from his top two songs. “You

Are My Sunshine,” sung by former Gov. Jimmie Davis, won the top


Dardenne said 26.3 million people visited Louisiana last year, the most in state history. Those tourists spent $10.7 billion

and left behind $665 million in tax revenue for the state, he said.

“Tourism is not an afterthought,” he said. “It is one of the few areas of government that actually pays dividends and makes

money for the people of Louisiana.”