Author Archives: Dan Willging

The Cajun Country Revival, Greetings from Louisiana! (Valcour Records)

Just as they did on 2011’s The Right Combination, Jesse Legé and Joel Savoy join forces with Foghorn String Band’s Nadine Landry and Sammy Lind, but this time as a slimmed down quartet rather than as the original septet. With the exception of Landry’s belting performance on Loretta Lynn’s “A Man I Hardly Know,” the [...]

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Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Live at Slim’s Y-KiKi Vol. II (Independent)

On his second live album recorded at the same venue, the faux Tropicana Slim’s Y-KiKi, Keith Frank repeatedly asks the question “Do you wanna go back?” consistently followed by a litany of stomping beats. But Frank, a lifelong zydeco musician and frontman of his own band for over four decades now, can indeed go back, [...]

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Lost Bayou Ramblers, Gasa Gasa Live (Bayou Perdu Records)

The Lost Bayou Ramblers’ last studio album, Mammoth Waltz, was a quantum leap in merging trad Cajun and underground rock into some sort of progressive alternative. The Ramblers’ second live affair, recorded at the diverse art/music Uptown venue Gasa Gasa, not only extends its predecessor’s boundaries but makes it look like a tame, housebroken puppy [...]

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Jeremy Lyons, Make It Better (Independent)

If it’s been a while since you’ve heard the music of Jeremy Lyons, his sonic artistry has changed somewhat since he left New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He no longer does the retro-roots thing for dancing Southern audiences, but has come full circle to being a folk artist, since Bostonians prefer to listen [...]

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Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys, No Guarantee (Swallow Records)

It’s hard to image Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys sounding any better than it did on 2010’s Cravin’ Cajun, where everything fit neatly into place. Despite the tragic passing of mega-talented bassist/vocalist Seth Guidry, Naquin somehow pulls it off again with a few new members: drummer Andre Gary and steel-guitarist Marty Broussard (veteran sideman [...]

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Smoky Babe, Way Back in the Country Blues (Arhoolie Records)

Unlike his Baton Rouge-area contemporaries Robert Pete Williams, Butch Cage and Willie B. Thomas, Smoky Babe (aka Robert Brown) never made it to the blues-revival stages of the ’60s, nor was he part of the cadre of bluesmen like Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim and Lazy Lester that defined Louisiana blues in the late ’50s. It’s [...]

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Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys, Back on Track (Lockdowne Records)

Back on Track is Terry and the Zydeco Bad Boys’ first disc in the six years after frontman Terry Domingue took a hiatus before regrouping with former Beau Jocque sidemen Chuck Bush (bass), Eric Minix (drums) and Michael Lockett (keys). Add journeyman-guitarist Kent Pierre-August to the fold and such an arsenal gives Domingue plenty of [...]

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Travis Matte & the Kingpins, X (Mhat Productions)

Travis Matte’s 10th release, X, commemorates his cross over the river to zydeco. Think of this one as a composite sketch of South Louisiana fare done in the muscular Matte party-down style with an occasional southern or metal-ish rock guitar solo thrown in for good measure. He mixes in the familiar, like basing “Country Girls” [...]

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Truckstop Honeymoon, The Madness of Happiness (Squirrel Records)

Rock stars are famous for epic life styles and devastating personal losses, such as divorce and family separation. Despite mixing Byrds-esque moments and radio-friendly pop hooks into its otherwise hillbilly-folk demeanor, Truckstop Honeymoon’s Mike and Katie West are no rock stars, which explain why the music biz has worked for them for so long. The [...]

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Yvette Landry, Me & T-Coe’s Country (Soko Music)

Steel-guitar shaman Richard Comeaux has been part of Yvette Landry’s country aggregation for a few years, but when Landry needed a duo partner for the smaller gigs a year-and-a-half ago, playing with T-Coe (as he’s alternatively known) just clicked. Obviously it clicks here, too, on this predominantly one-of-a-kind vintage country affair. Many of the classics, [...]

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