Discover Acadiana’s Soundtrack
● By Aimee Cormier
By Lyndsy Bradley, Photos Submitted By Musicians
Lafayette and its surrounding areas are never lacking in things to do or see. With the promise of cool weather in the upcoming months two things can be sure —constant assaults by mosquitoes will be quelled and so will our hunger. There will be plenty of festivals celebrating gumbo, boudin and other Cajun and Creole dishes. And music, there will be lots of music.
Pine Leaf Boys
Lafayette’s own legendary four-time Grammy-Nominated Pine Leaf Boys, known for their energetic approach to traditional Cajun music, have brought a taste of the Cajun culture across the world with tours in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem and Denmark, to name a few.
The boys are back in town, but Wilson Savoy on Cajun accordion, piano and vocals who’s joined by Courtney Granger on fiddle and vocals, Jon Bertrand on guitars and Drew Simon on drums and vocals says not to expect a new album until the summer months.
“We are working on a few new songs for a record we plan to record next summer,” Savoy says. “It’s a good mix of Cajun rock’n’roll.” Fear not, he confides, that the band has “a lot of cool stuff going on” in the fall months, too.
To start up the fall season, The Pine Leaf Boys served their unparalleled blend of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco tunes at Festival Acadiens et Creoles on Oct. 12, Blackpot Festival on Oct. 24 and will conclude their local rounds on Nov. 26 at Downtown Alive’s free Thanksgiving show.
Pegged as “the next best thing to a dance on Saturday night,” by Rolling Stone, the Thanksgiving show is sure to be the best and most enjoyable way to dance off any extra holiday calories.
The Amazing Nuns
Another legendary Lafayette band in its own right, The Amazing Nuns, who formed more than a decade ago in 2003, will release their 5th album Oct. 31 at Artmosphere Bistro. With a fusion of influences ranging from swamp pop to punk to rock’n’roll, the band has something for everyone.
The album “In Paradise” will be the first release in five years and the first featuring Rachel Jackson Perry on synthesizer, tambourine and vocals. Perry will be joined by her husband and long-time band member, Matt Perry, on drums; Justin E. Robinson on lead vocals and guitar; Paula Robinson on bass and vocals; and Philippe Billeaudeaux on guitar and keyboards.
To celebrate the release, The Amazing Nuns are teaming up with Cloudheavy Recording Collective to throw a gloriously gory and spooky Halloween party urging audience members to “leave your candy at home.”
Billeaudeaux, who left the band briefly in 2009 to tour with Feufollet and the Lil’ Band O’ Gold, says to expect a lot more from The Amazing Nuns’ post-album release. “We hope to start work on a new album soon, but in the meantime we will be gigging more,” Billeaudeaux predicts. “We also hope to start work on some videos and other forms of media.”
While Kind Cousin is new to Lafayette’s music scene, the first album, “Tremendous Hem,” was released at the Acadiana Village Chapel to a sold-out crowd on Sept. 19 in the form of a visually stunning miniature book filled with the project mastermind Allison Bohl DeHart’s own photography, lyrics and a downloadable music code.
Joining DeHart onstage were Peter DeHart, Christiaan Mader, Leah Graeff, Jessie Lalonde, Johanna Divine and Chad Viator with Aaron Thomas as sound engineer.
The project isn’t DeHart’s first creative endeavor. She’s played with local bands like Carbon Poppies and t-kette and collaborated with her husband and fellow Carbon Poppies and Kind Cousin bandmate Peter DeHart to create the award-winning design company Makemade. She also collaborated with some friends to develop MA’AM Records.
“MA’AM Records is a label that me and the guys in Brass Bed and Carbon Poppies started,” explains DeHart. “We joined together to push ourselves as a group to be more active in making music and releasing it more often. The Kind Cousin record was the first release, and Brass Bed has a 7” vinyl record due out on Nov. 18. You can pre-order it at maamrecords.bandcamp.com.”
For her first solo project – self-described as “eerie indie pop” – DeHart has concocted the perfect soundtrack for the fall season with chillingly beautiful and dreamy vocals over warm and fuzzy melodies.
Kind Cousin met up with Lafayette’s internationally known sweethearts, GIVERS, on a 10-day tour Oct. 16-26 beginning in Jacksonville, Fla. and ending up in Mobile, Ala.
DeHart, hoping to record a new album next year, has begun the writing process.
“As for playing live, we were very happy with the turnout and experience of the album release show. So, our goal is to continue on that path and work to make people think differently bout seeing live music,” says DeHart. “We have a few ideas for live musical experiences that won’t happen in your normal setting.”
Glam pop outfit Rareluth, based out of Lafayette, is cooking up its own magic with live music experiences.
Frontwoman Christine Peirce, with all the cool gypsy vibes of Stevie Nicks and high notes of Mariah Carey, is moving from behind her keyboard to center stage to collaborate with choreographer Tyler Watkins.
“We want to start presenting a more animated and interactive live show by using body movement to express the music,” comments Peirce. “Choreography is new to me and having Tyler directing me has been huge.”
For the live performances, Peirce shares the stage with Blake Ortego (a permanent fixture in Rareluth since its conception in 2011) on drums, Matt McElveen on bass and David Fuller on Peirce’s keyboard parts.
“It’s also important to mention that I am not permanently leaving my post at my keyboard station, but it has been something that has been very freeing to me to experience on the other side,” Peirce observes. “For the first time in my life I am hearing the songs I have composed without being behind an instrument.”
Rareluth will take to the stage on Dec. 17 with Yip Deceiver (an Athens, Ga. based duo and both former members of Of Montreal) who borrowed Peirce’s impressive pipes for their premiere album, “Medallius.”
Peirce says the first album, now complete, will be released in early 2015. “Because it is our first full length record we want to give it a really decent debut.”
Until that time comes, Rareluth’s first video Reprise, directed by University of Louisiana at Lafayette alumnus Matt Bell, is available for free download at reprise.rareluth.com.