08 - What is a “Barrelhouse?”

by John Tennison — History of Boogie Woogie

Above is a barrelhouse of the sort where Boogie Woogie was born.

  When discussing the “barrelhouse” style of Boogie Woogie pianist, Robert Shaw, the Texas Handbook of History gives the following description of a “barrelhouse:”

“The style was named for the barrelhouses, where it was performed-sheds with walls lined with beer and whiskey, an open floor, and a piano on a raised platform in a corner of the room. The back of the barrelhouse was also used as a bawdy house.”

© 2004-2008 John Tennison — All Rights Reserved

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