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

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Leroy Thomas:
Hurricane Stress Relief

at Nick's on 2nd, Eunice, October 26, 2005

Click here to go to the Official Web Site of Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners.

Leroy Thomas

Leroy Thomas at right with his father, Leo Thomas, who sang "Why You Wanna Make Me Cry?" and "Nine Pound Steel."

Leroy Thomas is shown with a friend who helped him sing "Monkey and the Baboon" (shown below)

Roy Carrier

Jamie Bergeron

Terry Domingue

Note: In subsequent years, Leroy Thomas has continued to organize a Stress Relief party. The event moved to Lafayette and then to Elton in 2008.

Zydeco star Leroy Thomas put on a Hurricane Stress Relief Party that was, in sixties parlance, a happening.

All of the musicians played for free, admission was free, there was a huge pot of free jambalaya, and Leroy Thomas even gave away three $100 bills as door prizes. The event was organized in less than a week, beginning with an announcement on the "Swamp and Roll Show" Thursday evening on KBON radio. By 7 p.m. the following Wednesday (Oct. 26, 2005), the dance hall at Nick's on 2nd in Eunice was filled with a crowd as diverse as the KBON audience: black and white, old and young, and every age in between.

KBON's Todd Ortego served as emcee for a night of zydeco that ranged from 75-year-old Willis Prudhomme to LSUE freshman Jeremy Fruge, from Travis Matte to Roy Carrier, from Curley Taylor to Eunice's own Jo Jo Reed. About 10 p.m., Leroy Thomas took the stage to bring the zydeco sounds that he performs at venues nationwide back to Southwest Louisiana, joined by his father, Leo "The Bull" Thomas.  At the end of the evening, Jamie Bergeron, playing Thomas' American flag accordion,  performed "Garde pas ša," the title song on his latest CD, and then passed the accordion to Terry Domingue, who, without missing a beat, finished the song and closed out with his own music.

The audience included other musicians like Dexter Ardoin, Don Fontenot, and other members of Les Amis de la Louisiane, Donna Meaux and Phil Guillory of KBON, Jo Ann Delafose (Geno's mom), and many other familiar faces along with people from all over.

Yes, the relief efforts of the past two months devoted to helping the hurricane victims will continue for many more months to come, but everyone certainly welcomed the opportunity generously provided by Leroy Thomas, his musician friends, and Nick's on 2nd to pause for one evening and just have fun relieving the stress of coping with a catastrophe.

One final note: the dancehall and court yard at Nick's are examples of hurricane recovery. The location, adjacent to Nick's restaurant, was the site of a men's clothing store demolished by Hurricane Lili in 2002. Dexter and Sunny Guillory purchased the property and transformed it into the perfect setting for good time fun in the Cajun and Creole tradition.

Jo Jo Reed

Willis Prudhomme

Jeremy Fruge

Curley Taylor

KBON owner and manager Paul Marx addresses the crowd, with Todd Ortego at far right


Posted 11-3-05

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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