Feed store by day, concert hall by night
For more than years, folks have been buying cattle feed, garden seed, and all kinds of tools for the farm and home at the Marsolan’s Feed and Seed store in Covington, Louisiana.
Harvey Marsalon started working at the store when he was in middle school.
He says his father started the business in 1939, and it’s been ongoing since then.
But just before lunch on Saturdays, the old feed store begins a transformation.
The shelves of animal food are rolled away and chairs are lined up in rows facing a small stage.
And Marsalon’s becomes a concert hall. At least for the next couple of hours.
The musical specialty here is old-time country, folk and bluegrass.
One of the usuals is a bluegrass group, the Bagasse Boyz.
And they get their name from an unusual place.
“Once you take all the sweetness out of sugar cane, you’re left with bagasse,” said Fritz Mayers, the group’s banjo player. “That’s us. We’re the stuff that’s left over.”
This wasn’t a case of a feed store looking to boost its weekend business. Here, it was the music that was looking for a new home.
There’s a healthy music program in the area with lots of different places to play, but Marsalon’s is one of the only places around that you can play inside, and out of the weather, all year long.
And it’s a show where the audience members are encouraged to bring their own string instruments and play with the band.
It’s an afternoon of toe-tapping and smiles, with performers who can’t help but have fun.