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

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The Red Stick Ramblers release
 Made in the Shade & 2007 EP

High resolution photos of the Red Stick Ramblers are now posted on Flickr.

Check out the band's official web site or go to the band's MySpace page,

 The photos in this section of the page were taken at a CD release party at Grant Street Dance Hall in Lafayette, Oct. 12, 2007; at the second annual Black Pot Festival Nov. 3, 2007, at Acadian Village in Lafayette; and, for the photo of drummer Glenn Fields, at Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette Oct. 13, 2007. The photos in this column show Linzay Young, Chas Justus and Kevin Wimmer, and, immediately above, Eric Frey. The bottom thumbnail at right includes Blake Miller on accordion.

Check out the video of "Made in the Shade" on the Ramblers' Official Web Site. The video was shot by Tom Krueger, whose credits include videos for  Bruce Springsteen, U2, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, plus award-winning feature films and documentaries.

Go to Sugar Hill Records or to the Red Stick Ramblers' Official Site for more on the releases.

The Red Stick Ramblers have signed on with Sugar Hill Records, Nashville’s top independent label. The long list of other artists who have Sugar Hill releases include Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Doc Watson, Sonny Landreth, Rodney Crowell, Tim O’Brien, among many others.  In the 2007, the Ramblers released a new CD, Made in the Shade, plus an EP with four cuts.

In his original song that is the title cut on The Red Stick Ramblers’ 2007 CD, Linzay Young tells us about an Opelousas moonshiner whose shady product is literally “Made in the Shade.” It’s a phrase that, matched by Young’s appealing kick-back vocal style, invites us to toss aside our inhibitions and just enjoy life with a joie de vivre that has always been at the center of Cajun and Creole culture in Southwest Louisiana. That’s the good-time feeling the Red Stick Ramblers channel into everything they play, from gypsy, western, or old school swing to blues to Cajun and to whatever else sounds good from any place, any time. Whether they’re pulsating in a fiddle-guitar rendition of Clifton Chenier’s zydeco hit “Hot Tamale Baby,” swinging along through the jazz-ragtime standard “Some of These Days,” or sending dancers gliding smoothly and easily across the floor to the sounds of Bob Wills’ “Don’t Cry, Baby,” the Red Stick Ramblers have a vibe that invites listeners to indulge themselves in whatever pleasures they seek. Their swing interpretation of Belton Richard’s hit “Laisse les Cajuns Danser,” with Blake Miller on accordion, rolls along flawlessly.  They pay tribute to two great Creole fiddlers in their version of Canray Fontenot’s “Tes parents ne veulent plus me voir” that segues into and blends with Bébé Carrière’s “Blue Runner.” Kevin Wimmer and Linzay Young interweave the two tunes with some tight twin-fiddling delivered with what seems like effortless ease.

 In addition to the title cut, original songs on the CD include the chillingly beautiful “Les oiseaux vont chanter,” described as “the first Cajun murder ballad,” a song that really ought to become part of the soundtrack for a movie based on a James Lee Burke detective novel; “The Cowboy Song,” a relaxed, laid-back interpretation of yet another musical genre in the band’s repertoire; “Katrina,” a defiant bluegrass response to the storm that devastated Southeast Louisiana,  featuring Eric Frey on banjo; “Unsentimental,” Chas Justus’s rejoinder to his song “Sentimental” from a previous CD; and “The Smeckled Suite,” Justus’s flamenco-gypsy-jazz tour de force composition that offers tour de force musicianship by everyone in the band.

The photos in this section of the page were taken at Grant Street Dance Hall in Lafayette June 17, 2007. In addition to the usual members of the band, Joel Savoy, the group's original fiddler, joined in for this set, along with Blake Miller on accordion, visible at right in the first thumbnail, and, just barely visible in the available light wide shot, Chris Stafford on keyboard. Click on thumbnails to see larger versions.

Click here to return to the first page on The Red Stick Ramblers.

Go to the official web site of The Red Stick Ramblers for a history of the band, profiles of each member, a performance calendar, sound clips, and more information on the group's other CDs.

The band's self-titled EP was released during summer 2007 several months ahead of the CD release.

It’s more than worth the cut-rate EP price just to be able to hear the Red Stick Ramblers’ live version of "Keep Your Hands Off Of It."  Responding to the crowd’s enthusiastic reception at a festival in New Mexico, the Ramblers open with Linzay Young’s vocals, followed by long virtuoso solos from Chaz Justus on guitar and Kevin Wimmer on fiddle, and then the entire band bringing everything together on one of the tightest, most intense, all-out exhilarating finales anywhere.

Other cuts feature Linzay Young’s vocals on “Don’t Cry Baby,” a sweetly tender blues (first performed by Bessie Smith nearly 80 years ago); “Evenin’,” a classic swing number performed in the early 1930s by Cab Calloway; and  “Valse d’Evia,” a beautiful Cajun waltz of regret by Wade Frugé in which the sadness flows both through Linzay’s voice and the haunting poignancy of twin fiddles.


Posted 12-21-07.
All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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