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

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    Rhythm Devils

High resolution pictures of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils now on Flickr.
Note: Blake Miller is now the band's accordion player, replacing Kristi Guillory, who continues with Bonsoir, Catin.

2006 CD: les clefs de la prison

See further down the page for background and information on the group's first CD.

Go to the Official Web Site of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils. Or go to the band's MySpace page.

For their 2006 CD, “les clefs de la prison,” the Lafayette Rhythm Devils appear on the cover in a jailhouse line-up wearing striped prison uniforms. They may look like they’ve been caged, but you can listen to them bust loose on the CD. Even better, their music gives you the keys to set yourself free, at least for a while, from just about any prison, physical or mental. 

In words to “Café Chaud” that parallel lyrics to Leadbelly’s “Bring Me a Little Water Sylvie,” Randy Vidrine wants more than hot coffee or hot tea: he needs the keys to prisons in Lafayette, Ville Platte, or Big Mamou. Actually, his vocals and the harmonizing on this song should be able to knock down any jailhouse door.

In addition, Vidrine’s at times almost volcanic vocals are featured on Shirley Ray Bergeron’s “Quelle étoile,” Adam Hebert’s “J’aimerais connaître” and “La porte du nord,” Cleoma Breaux Falcon’s French version of “Lulu’s Back in Town,” “Tu peux cogner,” and “Tee Maurice.” After the Rhythm Devils launch into a spirited version of the instrumental “Hicks Wagon Wheel Special,” the music really takes off when Randy Vidrine joins in with his rendition of “La queue de tortue.”

Kristi Guillory is also holding nothing back when she belts out her version of Nathan Abshire’s “Blues du tac tac.” In addition, she sings Adam Hebert’s “Cette la moi j’aime,” Wallace “Cheese” Read’s “Cankton Waltz,” and Cleoma Falcon’s “Lêve tes fenêtres haut.”

Other totally unchained members of the Rhythm Devils are Chris Segura on fiddle, Yvette Landry on bass, triangle, and harmony vocals, and Donald LeJeune on drums.

The CD jailhouse photos were taken with the friendly support of the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Department (any other musicians with legal problems in St. Martin Parish may want to ask the Rhythm Devils to put in a good word for them).

 Photos taken at Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette Oct. 15, 2006.

Shown are Randy Vidrine on guitar, Kristi Guillory on accordion, Yvette Landry on bass, Chris Segura on fiddle, and Donald LeJeune on drums.
Click on thumbnails to access larger photos.

Posted 11-3-06

Photos below were taken at the Blackpot Festival and Cookoff Nov. 10, 2006, at Acadian Village in Lafayette. Click on thumbnails to access larger photos.

2005 CD: Runnin'

The photos in this section were taken at the Liberty Theater August 27, 2005. Shown in this column are Randy Vidrine, Kristi Guillory, who has joined the Rhythm Devils on accordion and vocals, and Chris Segura. In the right column are Yvette Landry and Peppy Carmelo, who is performs on the CD.
Also seen in the photo below are Mitch Reed, who is no longer a member but was on hand at the Liberty for a performance of Charivari, and Donald LeJeune on drums. Not pictured but performing on the CD is George Toups.

See further down the page for background and information on the group's first CD.

Go to the Official Web Site of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils.

In July 2005, The Lafayette Rhythm Devils released their second CD, titled Runnin', on their own Z'affaire label. By the time the CD was out, Peppy Carmello had decided to retire from the demanding schedule of the group and Kristi Guillory had joined the band, returning to regular playing after an extended breaks (she won the CFMA Female Vocalist of the Year award in 1995).

The CD features two excellent original songs. Randy Vidrine searches for "La blonde avec les yeux bleus"–but that's just the beginning of what he wants in woman. Peppy Carmello offers a new, beautiful waltz in "Chemin de vie."  He also composed the instrumental title cut, "J'cours."'

Other cuts feature Randy on vocals for Cleoma Breaux Falcon's "Lulu Revenue dans la village," Adam Hebert's "La Pointe aux pins" and "La valse de ma chérie," Wallace Touchet's "La vie j'croyais j'voulais," Iry LeJeune's "Blues de Bosco," and "Grande Prairie Waltz." Peppy sings  "Adieu, Rosa," "Madame Bosso," Lawrence Walker's "Valse de minuit," Adam Hebert's "Madeleine," Amédé Ardoin's "Midland Two-Step," Cyprien Landreneau's "Talle du ronces," and Geno Delafose's "I'll Never See Her Again."

For booking information, phone 337-989-6154 or go to the band's web site.

Posted 8-29-05


The Lafayette Rhythm Devils are the house band at Randol's Restaurant in Lafayette on Wednesdays, 7-10 p.m. When we get to see them occasionally in Eunice at the Liberty Theater, it's a special treat. The Rhythm Devils provide a tight, technically precise sound, but, much more importantly, they clearly are having fun, and that joy and excitement comes straight through in their performance. Their self-titled CD released in 2003 offers mostly Cajun standards, but there's nothing routine in the way the Rhythm Devils play: every cut sparkles with fresh energy.

The CD opens with the instrumental "Fond de Culotte Two-Step" (i.e., "seat of the pants") and includes another instrumental, "Mamou Hot Step." Vocals are handled by Peppy Carmello, who learned Cajun French from his grandparents, and Randy Vidrine, who is also a member of the widely traveled Cajun band Charivari.  Carmello's voice is a high, sometimes soaring tenor on songs like "Le Petit Chemin Que T'as Pris," Nathan Abshire's "Choupique Two-Step," Leroy Broussard's "Big Boy Waltz," "Ton Coeur Est Barré," and "O.S.T. Special." Vidrine's voice is lower but also soars with emotion on songs like "My True Love" and "I Don't Want You Anymore" (two Balfa tunes), Adam Hebert's "Ouvre la Porte,"  Aldus Roger's  "Two Step des Vieux Temps," "Fais Do Do," and especially on Shirley Bergeron's "J'ai Fait Mon Idée."

Other members of the band on the CD are Mitch Reed, who has played fiddle with Randy for many years in the band Charivari, Donald LeJeune on drums, and George Toups on bass. In 2004, Mitch Reed left the band because of his numerous other commitments, and Chris Segura, founding member of La Bande Feufollet, has been playing fiddle with The Rhythm Devils.

In the liner notes, Peppy Carmello makes it clear that, whatever the name of the band might imply, the members do not aspire to the notoriety of some heavy metal group pretending to embrace the dark side. Music and dancing are two of the joys of life, part of a celebration that some may indulge in with a devilish frenzy, but The Rhythm Devils acknowledge fully that Cajun music and the opportunity they have to perform it are blessings from God

The photos in this column were taken at Festivals Acadiens in September 2003 in Lafayette. Yes, Mitch Reed is wearing a t-shirt displaying a flying skull, and the flames leaping from Randy Vidrine's shirt seem almost hellish, but, as you will note in the other photos on this page, Peppy Carmello is always wearing a Yankees' baseball cap: no hint of the devil there, nor in any of the photos in the left column, all of which were taken at the Liberty Theater in Eunice.


Posted 6-23-04.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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