THEBROSFRESH’s Lagniappe Lounge series aims to introduce Baton Rouge musicians to cities like Austin

Torrence Thomas and Thurman Thomas III—known professionally as THEBROSFRESH—made names for themselves in Baton Rouge. So when the twin brothers and business partners moved from Louisiana’s capital to Texas’ capital in March 2022, the Ascension Parish natives didn’t want to forget their roots.

Over the next two years, they worked to establish Lagniappe Lounge, a musical showcase series for artists from Baton Rouge and Louisiana that have either made the move to Austin or are touring through the city.

Founded in September 2023, Lagniappe Lounge curates shows featuring Louisiana musicians, with the first batch taking place at Austin’s Soho House.

The series aims to “shine a light on Louisiana’s emerging music talent,” Torrence explains—and in doing so, bring the sounds of south Louisiana to a new audience.

The performances, which Thurman describes as intimate concerts, are influenced by their time growing up going to shows and performing at Baton Rouge homegrown venues like the original Chelsea’s and The Caterie.

Performers at Lagniappe Lounge’s first six shows have included Baton Rouge acts like DeShawn Morrison, LG and Michael Armstead. Pell, a New Orleans-based artist, also included it as a stop on his tour.

While THEBROSFRESH both perform on an occasional basis at the showcase, with Torrence on bass and Thurman on guitar, their main role with Lagniappe Lounge is as musical ambassadors.

Photo courtesy SHXWNFRESH

When performers like Morrison—a hip-hop artist known professionally as SHXWNFRESH who grew up with the brothers in Geismer—take the stage, Torrence is confident they will “win a second city” with their music and uniquely Louisiana vibe.

“You can come and jam, showcase your talents, learn something and support each other,” Thurman says.

The brothers are planning new Lagniappe Lounge shows in Austin this spring, with a venue yet to be decided. They hope to expand the series later this year, with aspirations to play “meaningful one-off shows” in different parts of the country like Nashville and Los Angeles.

THEBROSFRESH have quickly established themselves in Texas, with appearances at fests like Austin City Limits and a nomination for Best R&B Act from The Austin Chronicle. As they grow their audience—performing at South by Southwest and Kerrclipse Music Festival this spring and setting their sights on booking a supporting slot for a major touring act—they hope to use their platform to prop up Louisiana artists.

“When we come to this town, we ain’t here to play games,” Torrence says. “We’re here to take the city over.”

Lagniappe Lounge is the next permutation of over a century-long tradition of Louisiana artists broadening their horizons while maintaining a connection to their home state, from Louis Armstrong spreading the sounds of New Orleans to Chicago and New York in the 1920s, to Baton Rouge rock band Better Than Ezra bringing songs about the Red Stick into the mainstream in the ’90s and early ’00s.

Now, Louisiana Lagniappe performer LeTrainiump Richard’s zydeco and jazz roots and his experience playing trumpet in Baker help set his sound apart from his pop influences.

“There’s something within that 337, 225, 504 area code. There’s something there that you just can’t get in the rest of the world. There’s a liveliness,” Richard says.

It’s why even as they eye a bright future elsewhere, Louisiana-bred artists maintain a connection to their hometown.

“I keep it in my sound, in my music. I keep it in my lingo, the way I dress,” Morrison says. “Even if it’s just wearing my LSU jersey around, just having that piece of Baton Rouge feels good.” Follow @thebrosfresh on Instagram for updates

Who has performed at Louisiana Lagniappe so far?

Baton Rouge native R&B and hip-hop artists THEBROSFRESH, SHXWNFRESH and Michael Armstead
• New Orleans hip-hop artists SHVKIEL, Pell and LG
Mamou indie artist LeTrainiump

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of 225 magazine.