My first objective of the evening was to stop at the Sand Bar on Spring St. where a friend was bartending. The Sand bar was a great sports bar to watch the evening bowl game and get information on the hot spots around town.

Once I had my list consisting of Mojos, Fatty Arbuckles, Novel Savage, Phoenix Underground, Central Station, and the El Dorado Casino VIP Lounge; I was off the see what the New Year had in store for me.

Mojos had a small stage area in the back of the first level. The nights band was heavy metal rock so I quickly made my way to the second level. The club had poor lighting and was missing the required safety reflector tape on the edge of the very dark stairs. I actually missed a step and was lucky to catch the rail to prevent falling down 20 some steps. The dance floor upstairs was nicely designed with pearl tapestry walls and soft red neon. I am shocked they have not been shut down for all the drunks that have tripped over the dark awkward steps.

Fatty Arbuckles was under the bridge on the next block between Mojo and El Dorado casino. Fatty’s had the best band of the night. The DIRTFOOT band was a great Bluegrass band with a strong mix of soul. A local commented that another local band called The Stiff Neck Fools had a similar sound with a Reggae rock influence. I had spent months searching for this sound so I added their facebook fan page so I can catch one of their upcoming shows. DirtFoot was just invited to tour with Rev Horton for Q1 of 2011! I wish they would have been on the tour in November when I went to the Rev show in Kearney NE.  SNF played at Boomtown but I did not find that out until it was too late.

Check these bands out at:

Dirtfoot.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stiff-Necked-Fools/132070400163433?v=wall

It was now 11p as I wandered into the Novel Savage. They are one of the main homes of the blues and open stage jams for Shreveport. Tonight they had a celtic husband and wife band picking some great strings. After a few songs I continued on to the Phoenix Underground to get my dance on.

At the Phoenix you have to wait in line forever to take an elevator to the basement club. It is very annoying so you think they would get a stairway in place to increase the amount of customers they lose due to the long wait. I cut in line to just get a quick look around for this review. The club was missing character. Everything was mediocre including the dancing. I was hoping to find a nice international scene and some UK techno but it was the same lame hip hop top 50 so I saved the $20 entry to use somewhere else. I quickly went over to the Sam’s Town Casino concert to be around the most people possible for the countdown. They had a nice jazz band swing the house. They took their break after the countdown so I headed to Central Station next.

Next stop was Central Station around 12:15. CS was the areas gay/bi hangout so I was expecting to get my techno grove on. The entry way to the station was a poorly designed gaming and quiet chat room. The next doorway led to a small dance floor with 1 mirrored wall and a projector image on another wall. I observed the crowd and then noticed a stairway on the far side going up to the second level. The next level has nice couches and chairs to relax and talk. Each room so far had its own bar. On the far side of the mingle room was a hallway leading to the final room. This was where the stage room was for Diva lip synching shows. I stayed for one show that had a Paula Abdul – Janet Jackson act and then went back downstairs to dance. Around 3am the crowd started to thin out so I headed back. CS was about 6 blocks from much of anything. Hidden under the interstate and railroad bridges, one needs a map to find it. There were some shady types in the shadows so I actually had to walk with my knife exposed to ward off anyone thinking of causing problems.

 

 

The El Dorado Casino was the last stop on the route. The lounge stopped serving at 2am but there were a few dancers left on the floor. I had enough lame top 40 American dance music so I hit the casino. It was here that I would soon meet one of the most attractive women I had ever laid my eyes upon. After all the wonderful nightlife up to the 3:30am point, it would be the next 6 hours that ended up being the best but that is a whole nother story.

After parting ways with my new friend I went and found a quiet lot to park in along the river and slept until noon. There are nice paved trails along the river and near the middle there is a full 3/4 mile 18 hole disc golf course! A local had an extra disc so I jumped in for a round before jogging 1.5 miles back to the parking lot.

I set up my painting supplies and spent the rest of the sunny day painting in the park. As the dark set in I went to the El Dorado VIP lounge to watch the TCU Horned Frogs beat Big Ten Champs Wisconsin earning TCU a share of the National Championship with a 13-0 record!

After the game I went to return my sketch book back to the van and noticed a crowd entering the Arts Theatre. I went over to get the scoop. It turned out that Al Green inspired the new wave sound of romantic soul in a man called Sir Charles Jones and he was in the building. This nice man had 2 extra tickets so I offered him $20 for one and went in. There were about 15 men and 300+ women. We were surrounded by swarms of amazing dancers. The MC was a famous comedian so between each opening act he would say a few jokes. The experience could best be compared to a day at a graceful southern Babtist church. As much as I enjoyed being welcomed into the circles of dance, the concert had to come to a close and around midnight we went our separate ways.

I would spend one last night camping by the river and wandering the casino before returning home the next morning. As I was preparing to leave I was approached by a man in his late 50s who was not enjoying life as a gambling addict. He lost his wife and job and was living on $674 of Social Security and food stamps. He was wandering the park searching for answers and a purpose. As I took the time to share my stories over the next hour he begin to weep with joy. He was looking for a reason to live and I reminded him of many. Together we came up with some ideas to join some social groups on MeetUp.com and he promised he would try to read more “Happy Living” self help books to deter the depressed thoughts. I may not have cured my friends pain or given him complete answers but I am certain we prolonged his life. I just hope he continues on trying and calls upon our Helping Hands Network again when needed.

 

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