Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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  Leon Chavis
   and the Zydeco Flames

Click here to go to high res photos of Leon Chavis posted on Flickr.

Holla at Me, second CD released by Leon Chavis


Leon Chavis is shown at the 2008 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival.

For more information about the band, see the section below.

Go to the Official Web Site of Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames.

Go to Leon Chavis' MySpace page.

On their second CD, Holla at Me, Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames offer smooth, polished contemporary zydeco that also draws on the energy and power of old style music played by Leon’s cousin, the late Boozoo Chavis.

As Leon explains in an interview with Herman Fuselier in the liner notes, he wanted to convey his positive outlook on life in songs like “Everything Going to Be All Right” and to celebrate family values in songs like “Daddy Loves You.”  His own life is centered on his wife and two children and, of course, his music.  His father, Joseph “Chopper” Chavis, an R& B singer from way back, is a member of the band and one of the co-producers of the CD.

Leon was nurtured on music in a family setting as he grew up.  He matured, gaining discipline and a strong work ethic, as a trumpet player in the Southern University Band. After founding the Zydeco Flames with his father and with Russell Labbe while he was at Southern, he went on to manages businesses before deciding to devote himself full time to a career in zydeco. The band now performs both locally and around the nation as well as overseas.

On stage, Leon Chavis’ friendly, inviting smile alone could win over audiences. The title cut, “Holla at Me,” conveys that open, receptive attitude, asking fans to “holla at me,” whether in person in a club or on a trailride or electronically through his MySpace page. The closing cut is a remix with guest Chris Ardoin, a nice instance of some zydeco friendship instead of rivalry.

“My Baby” features vocals by Chopper Chavis, who plays keyboard, and most cuts offer harmony vocals that may also include rubboard player Russel Labbe and guitarist Gabriel “Pandy” (Guitar Gable Jr.) Perrodin.  Other band members on the CD are Derick Woods on bass and Eric Singleton on drums. 

The CD has16 cuts, all originals except two Boozoo covers: “Tell Me What You Want” and “Play with Your Poodle.”



Go to the Official Web Site of Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames.

The photo at left shows Leon Chavis at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in 2005 performing traditional Creole and Zydeco music with the Creole Cowboys as a replacement for Jeffery Broussard. As Chavis very ably demonstrated during that performance, he can sing and play the old style songs, but he also has emerged as a new leader in zydeco who is creating new music and exploring new sounds. Chavis and his group, the Zydeco Flames, released their first CD in late 2005, featuring 12 cuts. His Official Web Site includes a detailed description of each song, along with information about his background and aspirations.

Songs like "Country Woman," "Hold Me Tight" "Allons Zydeco," and "Vas Manger" are reminiscent of the best from bands like Zydeco Force, delivered with a fresh energy and lively zydeco beat that looks forward and not back. "Dear Love" introduces a very different, romantic zydeco sound influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Hot Girl" blends several musical traditions into a smooth, up-tempo dance number. "Heart of  Lion" has positive message of courage and determination. "Don't Work Don't Eat" uses a familiar Creole melody with French and English lyrics. Other tracks include "The Heat is On," "Casinos," and, "Hey Momma," a beautiful waltz tribute to Leon Chavis's mother, Priscilla, who died when he was 10 years old.

According to the CD liner notes, in addition to being contacted through his web site, Chavis can also be reached at 337-6055, 337-692-2661, or 337-896-7135, or at

The top left photo was taken in 2005 at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. The other photos, including the photo at left of Joseph "Chopper" Chavis, Leon's father, were taken at the 2006 Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival in Plaisance.


Posted 9-18-06

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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