The Beauregard Parish Police Jury – equivalent to a county council – has tentatively approved the request, as long as the lyrics to “Leave This Town” pass muster, The Beauregard Daily News reported.
The police jury plans to vet the lyrics of the song, featuring DeRidder native Thomas Lindsey, at its Tuesday night meeting.
“I think it could be good publicity,” its secretary-treasurer, Tayra DeHoven, told police jurors before the Dec. 9 vote. She said Stewart and Lindsey would be dressed in the style of 1930s gangsters.
The song is about a man who plans to leave someone, and his home town, behind.
“If I ever leave this town, I won’t be back and I won’t be found,” Lindsey sings in a Soundcloud recording linked from Stewart’s site and that of the duo Stewart-Lindsey, which Stewart describes as his “new personal project.”
Stewart did not immediately respond Monday to a query from The Associated Press via his website.
According to the website, “Leave This Town” is part of an album that Stewart recorded in Los Angeles and Lindsey in Louisiana, collaborating over the Internet.
They performed together Dec. 8 at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood. In a review on the website “American Songwriter,” Paul Zollo described Lindsey as phenomenal and “the big revelation of the night.”
“The man sings in that angelic high range where Aaron Neville resides, not falsetto but full belting voice, yet with a bluesy edge and vigor all his own,” Zollo wrote.
When it was built in 1914, according to the City of DeRidder’s website, the Gothic Revival jail “not only made history because of its unique design but also because there was a toilet, shower, lavatory, and a window in each cell.”
But it was closed in 1982. A judge ruled that, without central heat or air conditioning, it amounted to cruel and unusual punishment for inmates.
The police jury has been considering opening the jail for tours.