Heart of Louisiana: Old Feed Store - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Heart of Louisiana: Old Feed Store

The Bagasse Boyz (Source: Facebook) The Bagasse Boyz (Source: Facebook)
ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) -

For the past 75 years, folks have been buying cattle feed, garden seed and all kinds of tools for the farm and home from the Marsalon Feed and Seed store in Covington.

Harvey Marsalon started working here when he was in middle school.

"My dad started this business in 1939,” he said. “It's been an ongoing business since then.”

But just after 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. Marsalon's becomes a concert hall for the next couple of hours. The music specialty here is old time country, folk and bluegrass. These guys call themselves The Bagasse Boyz.

“When you take all of the sweetness out of sugarcane, you're left with bagasse,” said musician Fritz Mayers. “That's us. Where the stuff is left over.”

This wasn't the case of a feed store that was looking for a way to boost its weekend business. Here it was the music that was looking for a new home.

“We have a healthy music program on the north shore - lots of places to play,” Van Glynn said. “But this is the only place that's inside out of the weather 365 days a year.”

The bluegrass band strikes just the right chord for the feed store crowd.

“In a lot of the songs tell a good story,” Glynn said. “People like to hear a story, and then a lot of the instrumentals are just fun to listen to, whether it's fiddle, banjo, mandolin or guitar.

And these band mates make sure that playing good music doesn't get in the way of having fun.

“We love playing here and the Marsalons, they are so nice and kind, but this is one of the few places that we really get to play in front of a bunch of chicks,” Mayers said.

“We played a coffeehouse in Hammond that burned down to the ground, we played a plantation place that caught fire and burned, we played a few places that have gone out of business, so if you know somebody who you want to shut down, send us their name,” Willi Sager said.

“When I moved to the north shore, I hooked up with these doofuses and we've been playing ever since,” Rex Hall said. “They didn't hear me call them doofuses did they?

This is a show where the audience members are encouraged to bring their own string instruments and play along with the band. It's an afternoon full of toe tapping and smiles, with performers who can't help but have fun.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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