Join the McFaddin-Ward House and the Lamar University Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast for a unique outdoor event exploring the history and narrative of Swamp Pop music on Friday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. on the museum’s lawn (located at 1906 McFaddin Avenue, in Beaumont).
The evening will feature a free public lecture, “Swamp Pop: History and Sounds of a Gumbo-Combo of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Country, and Cajun Music,” presented by Rachel Stiles, followed by a live performance from original Swamp Pop musicians including Jivin’ Gene.
Rachel Stiles is a Lamar University student currently working towards her Master of Music in piano performance. A 2022-2023 Fellow at Lamar University’s Center for History and Culture, Stiles has focused her research on the 20th century phenomenon of swamp pop—a regional rock and roll variant unique to Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. An enthusiast for presenting new or forgotten works to the public, Stiles also enjoys collaborative musicianship, particularly in her role as pianist and organist at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Beaumont.
As a teenager, Port Arthur native Gene Bourgeois – aka Jivin’ Gene – helped to invent the new genre music cooked up from a virtual gumbo of influences: country music, rhythm and blues, Cajun ballads, and rock ‘n’ roll. Fast-forward to Antone’s Club in Austin earlier this year, and the 83-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist was once again sharing his unique sound to a packed house.
McFaddin-Ward House lectures are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, call 409-832-2134.
“Swamp Pop” is part of the 3rd Annual Museum Madness Weekend (Oct. 19-22). The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Children’s Museum, John Jay French Museum, Edison Museum, Dishman Art Museum, Fire Museum of Texas, McFaddin-Ward House Museum, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, and Texas Energy Museum are each hosting events for a fun-filled weekend in Jefferson County.