Articles on C/Z Artists
No. 73 --- February 2019
Feature: Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames
Feature story this issue is on Leon Chavis, with nominations for best zydeco album of 2018, and Sean Ardoin's nominations for Grammy Awards. Gainesville Cajun dance on Feb. 10, and ArtiGras in Tallahassee features Cedric Watson on Feb. 16.
Excerpt: "Fast forward to 2019, and Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames is one of the best zydeco bands in the business. In fact, the band just received the ZBT Band of the Year Award from the Houston organization, Zydeco Blues Trailsides. And, his latest album, This All I Know, made the list of top five albums by the editors of Offbeat Magazine for zydeco album of the year."
No. 72 --- January 2019
Feature: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
Feature story this issue is "More! More! More Stories and Reviews of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys! Over the past 30 years, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys has been the hottest and most creative of Louisiana Cajun bands since its founding in 1988. With 14 albums produced to date, every one is a gem worth owning. Two typefaces that were released the same year the Mamou Playboys were formed are featured: Rotis and Avenir. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band is touring Florida in January 2019. Festival-O-Rama resumes for 2019 festivals across the United States.
Excerpt: “A native of Mamou, and cousin to accordion player and builder Marc Savoy, Steve Riley became a protégé of Dewey Balfa's when he was only 15, learning to play the Balfa Brothers and Marc Savoy's driving, intricate style."
No. 71 --- December 2018
Feature: Rockin' with Wilson Savoy
Everyone in his family is a musician. His father is also a famous Cajun accordion builder. His mother is a noted author. His brother owns a record label. It probably never occurred to Wilson Savoy that he could just be a musician. This article covers how Wilson Savoy came to organize the Pine Leaf Boys band (with lots of great photos by David Simpson), and some of the projects he has undertaken following his other passion, building stuff out of wood.
Excerpt: “There was a lot riding on the show because Cajun music desperately needed a young band to come forward and get young audiences excited about the genre. If any act was going to break through the domination of zydeco and make South Louisiana dancehalls safe again for fiddle music, this was the group that was going to do it." — Geoffrey Himes
No. 70 --- November 2018
Feature: Horace Trahan; Mojo and The Bayou Gypsies
Features twice-monthly dances in St. Pete on Nov. 6 and Nov. 20; “On The One," story on Horace Trahan and the New Ossun Express; Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies, a band that performs mostly in theaters in New Orleans and tours the midwest; Festival-O-Rama; and Swing Dance featuring Cajun band Tom Rigney and Flambeau on Friday, Nov. 17 at the Suncoast Jazz Festival in Clearwater Beach.
Excerpt: “In 2013, Horace Trahan came out with By Special Request that includes one song that has to be considered one of the most exuberant and contagious zydeco dance tunes ever written. Hearing that tune, “On The One (Love to Zydeco),” made me stand up and say, wow!”
No. 69 --- October 2018
Feature: Curley Taylor
Features twice-monthly dances in St. Pete on Oct. 2 and Oct. 16; two reviews of Curley Taylor CDs; Festivals Acadians et Creoles in Lafayette, Louisiana Oct. 11-14; Festival-O-Rama listings on Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Festivals Acadians et Creoles, Suwannee Roots Revival; South Louisiana Blackpot Festival and Cookoff; Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival; Halifax Art Festival, Riverhawk Music Festival, Cracklin Festival, and Suncoast Jazz Festival featuring Tom Rigney; Halloween Zydeco Party in Tallahassee with JB’s Zydeco Zoo; and Carolina Gator Gumbo performing in Atlanta on Oct. 7.
Excerpt: “For the uninitiated, Rise Up is the perfect portal into Taylor’s signature brand of hipster zydeco. For long-time listeners and dancers, he’s never sounded better.”
No. 68 --- September 2018
Feature: Bonsoir, Catin
Feature story on Bonsoir, Catin, a powerhouse Cajun band of women. “When we play here in Louisiana, everybody’s dancing.” Also, a barber who is in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, the parallels of Acadian’s flight from Nova Scotia in the 1760s and present day refugees, Festival-O-Rama, and Halloween party at BBC featuring JB’s Zydeco Zoo.
Excerpt: According to Perrin, “Acadians are generous people who truly understand what it means to be at the mercy of the rest of humanity.”
No. 67 --- August 2018
Feature: Lynn August
Feature stories on Lynn August, musician blind since birth yet made his mark on zydeco; and the Grand Re-Opening of the Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee. Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe return to Tampa’s Skipper’s Smokehouse on Friday, August 3. Festival-O-Rama features listings for the most popular festivals in August, September and October. And Louisiana Seafood Fests writeup by LouisianaTravel.com. Join us in downtown St. Petersburg on Tuesday, August 7 and August 21 for dancing to some of the best Cajun and zydeco music recorded.
Excerpt: “A blind person’s worst enemies are the people who’ll baby you. You won’t learn to take care of yourself. You never learn to be nothing.” — Lynn August
No. 66 --- July 2018
Feature story on T-Broussard, band leader of the Zydeco Steppers. Also in this issue: The Reading Edge, how the newspaper typeface Poynter Text got its start in St. Petersburg, FL; ZydecoZity, the Dutch radio program, interviews Gary Hayman; zydeco evangelist Gary Hayman has also been an outstanding marksman, an expert skier, and a professional hypnotist for 18 years; and the Suwannee Roots Revival signs on more artists to the October festival in northern Florida.
Excerpt: “T-Broussard's mother, Mary Jane (Ardoin) Broussard, was a trail blazer for women accordion artists before Rosie Ledet and Donna Angelle came along. Also in his family tree is Queen Ida, a Grammy-winning zydeco veteran on the west coast.”
No. 65 --- June 2018
Feature: Chris Ardoin and NuStep
Feature story on Chris Ardoin. Anthony Bourdain “Parts Unknown” to be filmed in Louisiana (prior to his death); Willis Prudhomme music added to DJ library. Festival-O-Rama with festivals in New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Beach, Belgium and Louisiana in June.
Excerpt: “His music is not about that sharecropper life, but topics of love, lust and longing relatable to a younger audience.”
No. 64 --- May 2018
Feature: Dennis Stroughmatt and Creole Stomp
Feature story this month is "French Creole-style music from some other place: Dennis Stroughmatt et Creole Stomp." Other stories on Huck magazine article on evolving zydeco culture, JoJo Reed honors traditional zydeco, an update on the temporary closing of Ace's Live Music in Bradenton, and a rundown on the festivals in May.
Excerpt: "Some have called Creole Stomp a “blues infused Creole-zydeco dance machine” and others have called the band “the Grateful Dead of creole music.” Creole Stomp is simply a powerhouse Louisiana-style band that serves up tradition with sides of entertaining swamp-pop, blues and honky-tonk.”
No. 63 --- Apr. 2018
Features: Andre Thierry's Accordion Soul
Chubby Carrier featured headliner at Stringbreak Music Festival; Tampa Bay Blues Festival, warmup party and after parties in St. Petersburg; Tabasco celebrates 150 years; Grammy award for Lost Bayou Ramblers; Amede Ardoin's contributions acknowledged with a statue; Cajun French phone app; WMNF record and cd sale in Tampa on Apr. 14; last show on Mar. 31 for Gumbo Boogie at Capt. Bill's Kitchen in Treasure Island; Dennis Stroughmatt & Creole Stomp in Asheville; Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas in Atlanta; and zydeco dance workshop with Anthony Lewis and Cheri Mullenix before the Zydeco Cha Chas in Atlanta.
Excerpt: "The zydeco greats like Clifton Chenier, they were always looking for a new tune that the public loved and would dance to. I think adapting new material and incorporating material from other genres and giving it a zydeco treatment is a thing that many Houston bands sort of lead the way in doing.”
No. 62 --- Mar. 2018
Features: Houston Strong, with writeups on Brian Jack, Frank Nooney Young, J Paul Jr., Jerome Batiste, Step Rideau and Ruben Moreno. A bonus feature titled "Massaging Your Dance Connection" by my massage therapist, Brenda Armstrong.
Excerpt: "Rideau reflects on the recent hurricane that devastated parts of Houston. 'Things are slowly coming together, but the hurricane left some deep scars.'”
No. 61 --- Feb. 2018
Features: Cycle Zydeco bicycling adventure, Terry Domingue of Terry and the Zydeco Bad Boys, and a Black History Month story.
Excerpt: "I’d stand by the stage and watch those guys, and I knew that was what I wanted to do. I loved that zydeco music from the first time I heard it, and that has never changed.” — Terry Domingue
No. 60 --- Jan. 2018
Features: The Boozoo Chavis Songbook; In Focus: The Band Photography of David Simpson
Articles on Donna The Buffalo, Tab Benoit, Gumbo Limbo Cajun Band.
Excerpt: "I’m not bragging for myself, but this style of music what I got, it’s gonna make you dance. It’s definitely gonna make you dance," Boozoo asserted.
No. 59 --- Dec. 2017
Feature: Horace Trahan
Articles on Chubby Carrier at Skipper's Smokehouse, Donna The Buffalo at Skipper's New Year's Eve party, and Early Cajun Music blog report by Wade Falcon.
Excerpt:"Thank you, Horace Trahan, for re-introducing us through your music to the concepts of love, compassion, kindness and tolerance. Your songs about love aren't sweet, Pollyanna-ish pretend aspirations. They are, rather, brutal indictments of the society we find ourselves in today — divided by class-color-religion, lacking freedom, lacking security, lacking compassion, lacking kindness, lacking tolerance, lacking intelligence, and needing to be fixed. We have more power to fix it than you think. Let's do it."
No. 58 --- Nov. 2017
Feature: Cajun and Zydeco Artists born in November
Articles on "Bois Sec" Ardoin, Beau Jocque, Stanley Dural, Jr., and Tab Benoit.
Excerpt:"They said the band was too expensive to bring them down to San Diego from San Francisco. But Flambeau is not too expensive to have them at Suncoast Jazz Classic in Clearwater Beach where they have appeared a number of times. (Attendance at the Jazz Classic has fallen off when the band has not been featured.)"
No. 57 --- Oct. 2017
Feature: Cajun and Zydeco Artists born in October
Articles on Boozoo Chavis, Marc Savoy, Wayne Toups, and Rosie Ledet.
Excerpt:"He made his first recording, of his own song "Paper in My Shoe," in 1954, and it was released on the Folk-Star label, a subsidiary of Goldband, before being reissued by Imperial Records. The record was a regional hit, subsequently acknowledged as a zydeco standard, but Chavis was convinced that it was more successful than the record companies claimed, later saying: 'I got gypped out of my record. I get frustrated, sometimes. I love to play, but, when I get to thinking about 1955... They stole my record. They said that it only sold 150,000 copies. But, my cousin, who used to live in Boston, checked it out. It sold over a million copies. I was supposed to have a gold record.'"
No. 56 --- Sept. 2017
Feature: Hurricane Harvey
A list of relief agencies that are accepting donations.
Excerpt:"Leader of his own group since 1994, Delafose sticks to traditional zydeco and Cajun music. That tradition keeps rewarding him. Most local bands are lucky to have one or two gigs in a weekend. French Rockin’ Boogie routinely handles three or four. Delafose and band played nine during the long Fourth of July weekend."
No. 55 --- August 2017
Feature: D.L. Menard
A list of major and minor Cajun and zydeco dance festivals and one-day events throughout the United States.
Excerpt:"DL was a cultural icon," said Ann Savoy, a musician, author of Cajun Music: a Reflection of a People, and wife of accordion player Marc Savoy. "We traveled with him all over America when my husband Marc was in his band, The Louisiana Aces. He was a rock-solid guitar player, a comedian. A very un-conceited person, very humble." And, she recalled, "He had a smile that filled his whole face."
No. 54 --- July 2017
Feature: The United States of Zydeco
A list of major and minor Cajun and zydeco dance festivals and one-day events throughout the United States.
Excerpt:“In her book, Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People, author Ann Savoy wrote 'Belton Richard is the most widely imitated singer and musician in southwest Louisiana today. Not only has his vocal style set the new standard for Cajun singers, but his songs are played at every dance. Belton Richard’s poetry looks at life with a tough romanticism that appeals to the earthy Cajuns.'”
No. 53 --- June 2017
Feature: Europe's fabulous Cajun Roosters / Jeffery Broussard Story
Festival-O-Rama with a focus on June and July festivals; Jeffery Broussard in Bradenton and Tampa this month
Excerpt:“The CFMA always gives one award, the Prix d’Hors, to a band not from Louisiana or East Texas,” said Michael Bentley, bass player and manager of the Cajun Roosters. “We’ve been nominated almost every year with our previous CDs as first runner up, but now finally with our latest album Hell Yeah!, we’ve won the award, which is for us a great, great honor.”
No. 52 --- May 2017
Feature: Summer of Love — Musical landmarks from the year 1967 in Louisiana Music
Festival-O-Rama with a focus on May and June festivals; Dikki Du and Zydeco Krewe in Tampa on May 27.
Excerpt: "The Balfa Brothers (or Les Frères Balfa) were an American Cajun music ensemble. Its members were five brothers; Dewey on fiddle, Will on fiddle, Rodney on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Burkeman on triangle and spoons, and Harry on Cajun accordion. Adopting the name Balfa Brothers in 1967, Dewey, Rodney, Will, Hadley Fontenot, and Dewey's daughter Nelda started touring folk festivals and European venues, playing Cajun music at a time in which its impact on American music had largely been forgotten. They made their first new recordings that year, and played at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City."
No. 51 --- April 2017
Feature: Cajun Accordion Builders
Articles in this issue: "True Stories of Cajun Accordion Builders," The Revelers perform in Tampa, CrawDebauchery festival in Pompano Beach this weekend, and Festival_O-Rama lists the major Cajun and zydeco dance festivals for 2017.
Excerpt: "His brother Danny was the first person to suggest to Ed that he combine his interests in woodworking and making music by making accordions. About four years ago, Poullard decided to start crafting not just the music of his family history but also the wood, bellows and reeds of an actual accordion."
No. 50 --- March 2017
Feature: Lee Benoit
Articles in this issue: There is a new venue for our Cajun Zydeco Dance in downtown St. Pete beginning this Tuesday evening. I will be DJ at Dance for Plants on Friday, March 10 at Gulfport Casino; a number of people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the music last year, and I don't intend to disappoint anyone this year.
Excerpt: "Lee Benoit obviously worked very hard on the CD, but what comes across is the beauty of the music, with everything in balance, including his vocals that are always clear and expressive."
No. 49 --- February 2017
Feature: Barry Ancelet and Sam Broussard produce GRAMMY nominated album, Broken Promised Land
Articles in this issue: Dikki Du returns to Ace's BeauSoleil has three performances in Florida, Corey Ledet has new album in the works, Dance for Plants in March and CrawDebauchery in April.
Excerpt: “As Ancelet’s poems vary in subject, Broussard counters with creative arrangements to suit whatever’s on hand, whether it’s a protest rocker (“Trop de Pas”), a wall-rattling bluesy howl (“Le Loup”), or a densely layered, poignant ballad (“Personne Pour Me Recevoir”). While Ancelet and Broussard alternate vocals and occasionally harmonize, Anna Laura Edmiston blows the doors off with her enchanting performance of “Coeur Cassé.” To break up the vocal content, Broussard tosses in a quasi-orchestral instrumental—“Pour Qui?”—that’s simultaneously jazzy and cinematic. A rare recording that gets deeper with each and every listen.”
No. 48 --- January 2017
Feature: Mose Allison sang the blues with whimsy and a twist of jazz
Articles in this issue: Marcia Ball and Tab Benoit in Florida this month; Porchdogs at South Florida Fair; Dwayne Dopsie and Porchdogs at Fort Myers Gumbo Fest; Courtney Granger album Beneath Still Waters gets attention from Rolling Stone.
Excerpt: “He was especially revered by 1960s English rockers who idolized the blues, and who saw in his example an accessible ideal. John Mayall recorded “Parchman Farm,” Mr. Allison’s ironic adaptation of a prison blues. Other songs by Mose Allison found their way onto albums by the Yardbirds, the Kinks and the Clash. The Who based their world-beating anthem “My Generation” partly on his “Young Man Blues,” which the band also featured as the opening track on its 1970 album, Live at Leeds.”
No. 47 --- December 2016
Feature: Rosie Ledet
Articles in this issue: New Year’s Bash at Skippers with Donna The Buffalo; International de Louisiane to Be Downsized; Lynn August is a Louisiana Treasure.
Excerpt: “Forming the Hot August Knights with tenor saxophonist John Hart, he also studied field recordings made in 1934 by archivist Alan Lomax to absorb the original Creole style of 'jure' singing into his own contemporary aesthetic.”
No. 46 --- November 2016
Feature: Keith Frank, the Zydeco Boss
Articles in this issue: Dikki Du at Ace's Live, and Easy Street Bayou returns to Florida.
Excerpt: “According to Keith Frank’s father, Preston, 'He does it all. He can do the Nouveau and then, he can play identical to like I play, which I can’t do quite the same like he does. He can do it any kind of way that it needs to be done. The old-fashioned or the new one, or La La. It’s all the same to him.'”
No. 45 --- October 2016
Feature: Photographer David Simpson
Articles in this issue: Marcia Ball Tours Florida; Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe Returns to Ace’s (on Nov. 4); Fund Drive for Louisiana Flood Victims; What You Get with Twin Accordion Players; Buckwheat Zydeco: A True Showman Has Passed.
Excerpt: “I continue to find in the music a heartfelt directness and emotional depth that most pop music lacks. The joy and the sorrow are real.”
No. 44 --- September 2016
Feature: Joel Breaux's Home
Articles in this issue about Tropical Storm Hermime, Lipbone Redding’s solar-powered vehicle, arts month in St. Petersburg.
Excerpt: "The result is a house that while not completely lacking in cosmetic choices certainly limits the number to a bare minimum. Color, for example, is rarely refined or cultivated; the materials that make up the structural elements, aside from the red front door, are essentially displayed in their raw form.”
No. 43 --- August 2016
Feature: Cedryl Ballou
Cajun-Zydeco Dance in Pinellas Park, Chubby Carrier at BBC in Tallahassee.
Excerpt: "In 1954, Cedryl’s grandfather, Classie Ballou, played with Boozoo Chavis on zydeco’s first commercial hit, “Paper in My Shoe.”
No. 42 --- July 2016
Feature: Dikki Du at Ace's Live in Bradenton
Excerpt: "Dikki Du (Troy Carrier) played washboard with his dad, the great Roy Carrier, and then C.J. Chenier for two years. He played drums behind his brother Chubby Carrier for a few years before picking up the accordion and starting his own band, Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, about twelve years ago."
No. 41 --- June 2016
Feature: Marcia Ball Announces Florida Tour
Excerpt: "Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time."
No. 40 --- May 2016
Feature: Jeffery Broussard
Excerpt: “My idea of king is not the guy with the hottest band, most popular song or most women around the bandstand. I think of a musician who can command the accordion like no other. That's easily Jeffery Broussard, who is pound for pound the best zydeco accordion player around."
No. 39 --- April 2016
Feature: Donna Angelle, Zydeco Diva
Excerpt: “I used to dream when I was younger, laying on the porch. I would imagine I was on this big stage with a bunch of people. It was my dream to play and really make people happy. I’m living my dream."
No. 38 --- March 2016
Feature: Nathan Williams Sr.
Excerpt: “Anyone who has heard this soulful brand of music performed live knows just how easy it is to get swept up in the beat and carried away by the rhythm. In order to succeed as an artist, you need to be able to perform at a fast and furious pace, bringing upbeat tunes to the crowd and getting people off their seats and grooving to the sounds."
No. 37 --- February 2016
Feature: Mardi Gras
Excerpt: “Cajun fiddler Waylon Thibodeaux was born and raised in Louisiana's Bayou Country, where he began playing music at the age of eight. At 16, he was named the state's fiddle champion, his live performances going on to become an institution of New Orleans' Bourbon Street area. "
No. 36 --- January 2016
Feature: Way Down in Louisiana by Todd Mouton
Excerpt: “[The performance] overflows with visual proof of the band’s masterful interplay on a set that includes blues numbers, a waltz, a percussion-heavy breakdown, familiar tunes and rarities, and, the outro vamp, a Chenier solo on Dural’s melodica!"
No. 35 --- December 2015
Feature: That Cajun Beat Through the Centuries
Excerpt: “Dancehall Cajun is often known in South Louisiana as "Fais do-do" music. “Fais do-do” comes from the local practice of couples bringing their young children with them to the dance hall. It is similar to traditional Cajun music with added accompaniment such as the bass guitar, drum kit, steel guitar, and rhythm guitar, electric or acoustic."
No. 34 --- November 2015
Feature: November Bands
Excerpt: “Suncoast Jazz Classic in Clearwater Beach once again features the popular San Francisco band Tom Rigney and Flambeau, which specializes in fiery Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes."
No. 33 --- October 2015
Feature: Recent Releases by 16 Artists
Excerpt: “Three of zydeco's most popular artists (Leroy Thomas, Chris Ardoin and Lil' Nate) have released new albums in the past few weeks. This is just a sampling of new music released in the past few months. And some of the music is amazing. Zydeco remakes of past pop hits. A genre-blend of Brazilian samba and zydeco. An amazing waltz from the least expected artist.”
No. 32 — Sept. 13, 2015 EXTRA
Spotlight on: Ruben Moreno & Zydeco Re-Evolution.
Excerpt: "Offbeat magazine writer Dan Willging wrote, if zydeco keeps pushing forward, Ruben Moreno will be one of the reasons why. Last year he and west coast zydeco phenom Andre Thierry, producer of Moreno’s two albums, were involved in a pan-cultural collaborative project with Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and the nonprofit Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy of Richmond, California to bridge the commonalities of zydeco and Latin music."
No. 31 — September 2015
Feature: Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
Excerpt: "Riley turns convention on its head with the opening track, “Au Revoir Grand Mamou.” “There are a bunch of songs about coming back to Mamou,” smiles Riley, “and I thought it was time to try something different."
No. 30 — August 2015
Spotlight on: Rockin' Sidney
Excerpt: "Then he asked young Simien what he wanted to be. Sidney told the priest he wanted to be a singing cowboy like Roy Rogers, playing the guitar, cleaning the town, getting the girl, and getting respect. 'That’s it!' the priest exclaimed. 'You want to be an entertainer.'"
No. 29 — July 2015
Excerpt: “Few bands are as synonymous with the genres they work in as Cajun music legends BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. With 25 albums to their name in their four decades in existence, BeauSoleil have basically become ambassadors for Cajun music, taking their sound to stages and festivals worldwide. ”
No. 28 — June 2015
Feature: The Ardoins, First Family of Creole Music
Excerpt: “Amédé Ardoin (1898-1942), innovative accordion virtuoso with a high singing voice, and first to record Cajun or Creole music with fiddler Denus McGee in 1929. His great musical legacy is overshadowed by a brutal beating at the hands of two white men while walking home from a dance which ended his musical career and impaired him mentally.”
No. 27 — May 2015
Feature: Festival Season 2015
Excerpt: “JEFFERY BROUSSARD, formerly the front man for the legendary Zydeco Force, brings his band, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, to Simi Valley this year. Jeffery Broussard delivers great, pack-the-dance-floor renditions of Creole classics as well as their own dynamic brand of contemporary zydeco. Jeffrey's accordion and vocals defined this new style which incorporated elements of R&B into zydeco music and dance. With his Creole Cowboys, Jeffrey continues to share his rich musical heritage with contemporary flair and expertise, inspiring new generations of Creole zydeco fans.”
No. 26 — April 2015
Feature: Chubby Carrier
Excerpt: “Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band serve up the zydeco gumbo. Mixing the traditional accordion and washboard farmhouse porch boogie of the Cajun prairie with dashes of 70s funk, the spices of classic R&B, and refreshing, swampy twists on classic songs as only authentic Louisiana ambassadors can do.”
No. 25 — March 2015
Feature: Thomas “Big Hat” Fields
Excerpt: “In 1991, Thomas Fields bought a "hip-hop" club near Grand Coteau, renamed it the Big Hat Club, and started booking zydeco bands. At the same time, he began to learn to play the accordion and sat in with the house band, Pee Wee and the Boll Weevils. His wife, Geneva, learned to play bass, and soon they were ready to start their own band.”
No. 24 — February 2015
Feature: The Prince of Zydeco
Excerpt: “Somewhere along the line, this notorious booming backbeat of his earned him the moniker “Fernest and the Thunders” which became his band’s name. It was Clifton Chenier who suggested to Fernest that he take up the accordion again. Fernest played the accordion uniquely well, and had the remarkable ability to make his instrument sound like a small orchestra. His music featured a laid-back Louisiana swamp pop sound. But his vocals, though soulful, lacked power because of an asthmatic condition. Ernest relied on bandmates Gene Morris and Bobby Price for most of the vocals.”
No. 23 — January 2015
Feature: A King with Paper in His Shoe
Excerpt: “Over the years the song [“Paper in My Shoe”] has been recorded by numerous artists, but the recording session did not go well for Boozoo…. To say the least, Eddie was at wit's end and was about ready to throw in the towel. ‘I was getting desperate and I had to salvage the session somehow. So, I bought a pint of Seagram's 7 and gave it to him. After a while it loosened him up and the whole group began meshing really well,’ added Eddie. ‘We were about at the 2:47 of elapsed time…when I heard this horrible crashing on the other side of the partition which separated the control room from the studio itself. When I peered around, there was Boozoo on his back and on the floor still playing without skipping a beat even after falling off his stool.’”
No. 22 — December 2014
Feature: The Legacy of Clifton Chenier
Excerpt: “A flamboyant personality, remembered for his gold tooth and the cape and crown that he wore during concerts, Chenier set the standard for all the zydeco players who have followed in his footsteps. In an interview from Ann Savoy's book, Cajun Music: Reflection of a People, Chenier explained, ‘Zydeco is rock and French mixed together, you know, like French music and rock with a beat to it. It's the same thing as rock and roll but it's different because I'm singing in French.’”
No. 21 — November 2014
Feature: Tom Rigney and Flambeau
Excerpt: “Flambeau specializes in fiery Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes. Their high energy live shows feature tight ensemble playing, deeply infectious grooves, and spectacular soloing. Most of the repertoire is composed by Rigney, but they also mix in a few classics from the Cajun/zydeco/New Orleans songbook. And if, along the way, you pick up a trace of Rigney’s Irish roots or a little swing and roots rock'n roll, it just makes the musical gumbo that much tastier.”
No. 20 — October 2014
Feature: New Music from The Councilman
Excerpt: “Ironically, ‘Judy in Disguise’ replaced the Beatle’s ‘Hello Goodbye’ as #1 in the pop charts and stayed there for a couple of weeks. Kevin Naquin does this song justice, and the dancers have approved. According to Naquin, ‘It took us a long time to figure it out. Everybody in the band was aggravated with that song because nobody had ever played it before. The steel [guitar player] had to learn its part. I had to learn the accordion. It was a very challenging song. But when we were done with it, everybody was extremely happy with the way it turned out.’”
No. 19 — September 2014
Spotlight on: Pine Leaf Boys.
Except: “The Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand—playing the old-fashioned dance hall standards as well as bringing the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and playing them with gusto. Their mission is to present the real Cajun music of their ancestors to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life.”
No. 18 — August 2014
Feature: D.L. Menard
Excerpt: “Menard's special gift as a singer is a directness, simplicity and intensity of feeling that sometimes has gotten him billed as ‘the Cajun Hank Williams.’ In fact, Menard chatted with Williams for about 10 minutes during a break at a dance hall performance Williams gave in Cajun country in 1951. Menard's recollections of that influential talk stretch out considerably longer than the actual conversation must have. What he took from it, he says, was Williams' advice about respecting the audience, and about how important it is for a singer to be able to bring a song's story to life. Menard said he told Williams that he didn't expect to go far with his own music because it was in Cajun-French --- a minority language and culture that Louisiana authorities were then trying to discourage. ‘All music is good if it's your music,’ was Williams' response, Menard said.”
No. 17 — July 2014
Feature: Nathan Williams Sr.
Excerpt: “Nathan eagerly sought out the music of Zydeco originators such as Clifton Chenier. When he was too young to attend a Chenier dance at a St. Martinville club, he hovered by the window-sized fan at the back of the building to hear his idol, only to have the bill of his baseball cap clipped off by the fan when he leaned too close.”
No. 16 — June 7, 2014
Feature: Zachary Richard
Excerpt: “The title song (‘Le Fou’ - The Crazy) was inspired by the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010. The first bird to be captured and cleaned in April of that year was a northern gannet, whose name in French is “Fou de Bassan” ("Crazy from Bassan"). The folly of which the song speaks is the folly of mankind in destroying the natural environment. It’s enough to make you crazy.”
No. 15 — June 2014
Feature: Jeffery Broussard
Excerpt: “By playing traditional music, that is my way of giving back to my community, to my culture, and to get others interested in the music, in other parts of the country, and to fulfill my daddy’s dream. I do it to keep our traditions going because the music being played today is not traditional music. I want to continue doing what I’m doing because really there are not very many traditional musicians left. I am the only one besides Geno Delafose who is playing traditional Zydeco music. There are only five Creole fiddlers left, that’s what gave me the interest to pick up the fiddle and start playing, because I felt that it was needed.”
No. 14 — April 2014
Feature: Cajun Cafe Crawfish Festival
Excerpt: “Wayne Singleton is another in a long list of excellent Zydeco musicians who honed their skills with the late Roy Carrier at the Off Shore Lounge in Lawtell, LA. Wayne & Same Ol 2 Step have been together for more that eight years. Over the years, the band has become exceptionally tight, its performances laced with frequent on stage interaction. Their music ranges from traditional zydeco, with obvious traditional Opelousas roots, to zydeco nouveau.”
No. 13 — March 2014
CD Review of Andre Thierry’s Are You Ready to Learn?
Excerpt: “He's a master on the accordion, and sounds great even on the stripped-down "Day By Day" where he plays solo. He's got a soulful, mellifluous voice that is real easy on the ears, and after ten years together his band has a tight sound that will keep you on the dance floor throughout this album.”
No. 12 — January 2014
Richard Thompson in Clearwater
Excerpt: ‘Popular Cajun hits of Beausoleil and Jo-El Sonnier, ‘Valerie’ and ‘Tear Stained Letter’, were written by Richard Thompson. Thompson's lyrics chronicle love at the complex intersections of temptation, jealousy, disappointment, abandonment, indignation, sorrow — perfect ingredients for a fine Cajun gumbo. Add to that a spicy tempo of 190 beats per minute, and you've hit the sweet spot of a Cajun jig. (Sure, Cajuns play slower music. They call those waltzes.)”
No. 11 — November 2013
Donna The Buffalo at Skipper’s Smokehouse
Excerpt: “A New Year's celebration bursting with zydeco, jamming, folk-rock, country rock, reggae and bluegrass. Donna the Buffalo's music is often sociopolitical in nature, calling for peace and justice, balanced by other songs that touch on timeless themes such as love, birth and death. Over the years Donna the Buffalo has had the opportunity to collaborate and/or record with musicians such as Jim Lauderdale, Preston and Keith Frank, Bela Fleck, Mamadou Diabate, Claire Lynch, David Hidalgo, and The Duhks, to name but a few.”
No. 10 — August 2013
Lipbone Redding in Fort Myers and The Burg
Excerpt: “’Lipbone’ (who accompanies himself with his unique trombone sound using just his lips) will be appearing at the Americana Community Music Festival on Saturday October 26 in Fort Myers, and at The Ale & The Witch in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday, October 27.”
No. 9 — May 2013
Orange Blossom Festival (Orlando)
Excerpt: “This is a country dance event with all workshops taught by Gary McIntyre and Susan Kirklin, two highly accomplished champion dancers. They are to their credit UCWDC Classic Masters World Champions, World Professional Smooth Finalists, Classic and Showcase Swing Champions, and U.S. Open Swing Cabaret Champions. There will be country, swing, hustle, and cabaret division competitions as well as dedicated ballrooms for just social dancing throughout the event.”
No. 8 — February 2013
Andre Thierry Featured on CBS
Excerpt: “Sunday, February 10, I am advised Andre Thierry will be profiled on the CBS News at 6:30 p.m. Andre received the West Coast Hall of Fame Award for "Best Zydeco Group 2012". As part of Corey Ledet's album, "Nothin' But The Best," Andre has received a GRAMMY nomination. If you've experienced Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, you're a fan.”
No. 7 — January 2013
Gulfport Swamp Opera Plays Fais-Do-Do.
Excerpt: “From 4-7 p.m., enjoy a Fais-Do-Do (house party) with Gulfport Swamp Opera featuring Rex Blazer at Davida and Peter's home in St. Petersburg. Questionable weather forecast for Sunday moved the band's beach party indoors. Everyone in the dance community is invited, and no food is required. No admission charge, but let's show our appreciation to the band in the form of a donation.”
No. 6 — November 2012
Florida Cajun-Zydeco Festival in Hollywood, FL
Excerpt: “This year's bands include Savoy Family Cajun Band, C'est Bon Cajun Band, Feufollet, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, Chubby Carrier, Geno Delafose, and Grammy-nominated Lisa Haley & The Zydekats! There will also be Cajun cooking exhibitions by Louisiana chef, Patrick Mould, and Cajun and zydeco dance lessons during the band breaks.”
No. 5 — September 2012
Dwayne Dopsie & Zydeco Hellraisers at Cuso’s (Indian Rock Beach)
Excerpt: “If you like your zydeco hard-driven with a fast tempo, you are going to be in heaven this weekend with Dwayne "Dopsie" and the Zydeco Hellraisers play at Cuso's in Indian Rocks Beach. Cuso's has a generous dance floor which is sure to be filled once this rockin' band gets going. Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco, and hails from one of the most influential zydeco families in the world. Dwayne attributes his musical abilities to his father, Rockin' Dopsie. He has played the accordion since age seven and states, ‘This is my calling. zydeco music is in my blood and it is my heart and soul.’”
No. 4 — August 2012
Beth McKee at Bradfordville Blues Club (Tallahassee)
Excerpt: “One reviewer quoted on Beth McKee's website: ‘Singer-pianist Beth McKee hints at a rich variety of inspirations, with wisps of Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Doug Sahm and Delbert McClinton, a loose, funky, sweetly soulful mix on an album packed with strong original material. If you're looking for the young blood that's reinvigorating American roots music, check out this album: this gal's the real deal!’”
No. 3 — July 2012
Gulfport Ramblers Pick Up Where They Left Off
Excerpt: “The Ramblers had several performances planned in May until guitarist Maureen Kilroy suffered a broken wrist while on vacation in New Orleans. Everything was canceled, including an appearance at Ricky P's in St. Pete. Maureen's wrist is healed, and they are returning to Ricky P's this Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to play their fine brand of Cajun and Creole favorites. They will be playing in the patio area outdoors, to wear comfortable street shoes. Ricky P's Bistro at 1113 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. There's an outdoor patio where the bands set up.”
No. 2 — May 2012
Rosie Ledet at Ace’s Lounge
Excerpt: “Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys are touring Florida, packing the kind of high-energy blend of sultry blues and zydeco music that keeps us on the dance floor song after song. Last night Tampa Bay area dancers (and one from Washington, DC) were treated to an evening to be remembered at Ace's Lounge in Bradenton. Rosie is promoting her ninth and latest CD, Come Get Some. Her latest material brings on a driving blues-rock edge with tunes like ‘Baby What You Do To Me’ (this addictive melody is at the top of my playlist) and ‘Come Get Some’ which are superbly produced pop songs, aided with searing blues guitar riffs by her new guitarist Andre Nizzari and backed by Morris Ledet's rock solid bass.”
No. 1 — March 2012
Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers
Excerpt: “9 p.m. Cover charge is $10 ($8 online at Ace's Website). Ace's Lounge is located behind the 7-Eleven at Cortez Rd. and 86th Street West. Address is 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton.”