BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
You'd have a tough time finding a band from New Orleans that doesn't pay tribute to their home town, and equally hard pressed to find a band more steeped in the bayou tradition than BeauSoleil. Specializing in the Zydeco of the Louisiana Bayou, BeauSoleil carry the Creole torch nationwide.
Founded in 1975, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet are one of the most well known bands playing in the Cajun and Creole tradition. They mix their swamp style with Tex-Mex, Country, Blues, and Rock switching elegantly between genre and language. Don't be surprised if you hear English and Cajun French in the same song. Hailed by Garrison Keillor as "the best Cajun band in the world," BeauSoleil have become regulars on Prairie Home Companion, and have also held guest spots on Emeril Live, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and Austin City Limits.
This fall, the Fairfield Theatre Company invites you to come on down and laissez le bon temps rouler avec BeauSoleil.
Little Freddie King
If you want the real blues - and I'm not talkin about some long-haired hippy beatin' on a National Resonator guitar or a mustachiod, Italian-suited slickster blowin' on a chromatic harmonica - baby, you'd better call Little Freddie King, Normally only seen once a month at BJ's Lounge located in the lowest bowels of the mighty Ninth Ward, where he shares floor space with a pool table and various carpet remnants, don't think for a second that his band won't be able to create the proper mood without their usual scrappy surroundings. The minute Freddie straps on his guitar and strikes up his gnarled chord and drummer "Wacko" Wade makes his presence known with a definative cymbal crash, this lean, mean, swampy aggregation of gut-bucket wild men transforms the poshest of venues into a back-of-town beer joint.
Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1940, Fread E. Martin grew up playing alongside his blues guitar-picking father (Jessie James Martin), then rode the rails to New Orleans during the early fifties where he crossed paths with itinerant South Louisiana blues man such as "Poka- Dot" Slim and "Boogie" Bill Webb whose unique country-cum-urban styles would influence his own. Honing his guitar chops at notorious joints like the Bucket of Blood (which he later immoralized in song), he jammed and gigged with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker, and also played bass for Freddy King during one of the guitarist's stints in New Orleans. People began comparing the two musicians' styles, hence Martin's nome-de-plume. While well-vested in a variety of styles, nowadays Little Freddie sounds a lot more like his cousin Lightin' Hopkins - albeit after a three day corn liquor bender! Nevertheless, the King sobriquet if fitting, as Freddie is undeniably the monarch of the Crescent City blues scene.
He recorded an electric blues album with Harmonica Williams in 1969. In 1976, King undertook a European tour alongside Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker. His next recording opportunity came some twenty seven years after his first in 1996, with the release of Swamp Boogie. King's Sing Sang Sung (2000) was recorded live at the Dream Palace in Faubourg Marigny.
King played the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for 32 consecutive years. He is a member of the Music Maker Relief Foundation Inc.