MEL LEHAN HALL AT ST. JAMES i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
This event has already taken place.
Special Bonus! CAJUN DANCE LESSON starting at 7PM, taught by Becky Winnick! All welcome - learn how to break free and MOVE to the music. Becky will teach the basics of Cajun dancing, and how to create that great feeling of connection and communication with your partner. You’ll get a chance to rotate and dance with all different people during the lesson.
Founding members of the Red Stick Ramblers and The Pine Leaf Boys (“unquestionably the two groups at the vanguard of the Louisiana cultural renaissance”) have joined together to form a Louisiana Supergroup combining swamp-pop, Cajun, country, blues and zydeco into a powerful tonic of roots music that could only come from Southwest Louisiana.
As individuals they are each in high demand, having performed and recorded with T-Bone Burnett, Natalie Merchant, Linda Ronstadt, Preston Frank, Walter Mouton, Mamadou Diabate, the Duhks, Cedric Watson, and Tim O’Brien to name a few. As a group they play with a sense of empathy and depth that can only be fostered after years of making music together. They have all appeared on the 2011 season finale of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and they also were handpicked by David Simon (producer/creator The Wire) to be featured musicians for the third and fourth seasons of HBO’s Tremé.
Long-time fans of the Red Stick Ramblers may find themselves very familiar with the Revelers: the powerful singing and songwriting of Chas Justus and Eric Frey, a mix of traditional Cajun and zydeco dance music, some of the swing that was such a strong focus of early RSR, the magical rhythm section chemistry of Glenn Fields and Eric Frey, and impressive musical virtuosity across the board. Take what you know about the Red Sticks, add into the mix the crooning vocals of Glenn Fields, and the singing/songwriting of Blake Miller (founding member of the Pine Leaf Boys and unarguably the most prolific French songwriter coming out of Louisiana right now), the tightly arranged section of sax-fiddle-accordion, and you’ll start to get the Revelers picture.
The depth of this band has only developed from digging deeper into the dancehall traditions of Southwest Louisiana and emerging with an arsenal we call Louisiana Jukebox Music. Music critics are wont to categorize music into clear genre styles, but that’s not really the way folk traditions develop - things are passed around, the lines are blurred - and particularly in a culture as unique as that of SW Louisiana (we won’t use the old gumbo cliché, but you get the idea…). The Revelers have embraced that musical truth in a way few bands have - the lines between traditional and original, Cajun, country, zydeco, swamp pop, and the blues, are blurred, and wide-ranging styles are honed into an extremely cohesive performance.
The genre of swamp pop may bear some explanation. Little-known outside of Louisiana (but still quite popular in the region) it’s a music that’s nearly confined to the archives of the 50’s and 60’s save for a handful of bands today. In short, swamp pop is Southwest Louisiana’s answer to the R&B and Rock ’n Roll that came out of New Orleans, Memphis and Detroit in the 50s. When that unstoppable sound reached Cajun and zydeco musicians, they caught the bug and played their own versions the only way they knew how - sometimes in French, and traded in their fiddles and accordions for horns and electric guitars. It’s a perfect example of how everything that comes from Acadiana is dripping with it’s own unique culture.
Equally at home on a festival main stage, a late night dance party, or a performing arts hall, the Revelers have taken their mission coast to coast in the U.S. and around the world from Ireland to Denmark, to their own Black Pot Festival in Lafayette. The Black Pot Festival is a celebration of the culture of food, music, and dance that’s still thriving in Acadiana, along with the Revelers’ ties to the wider roots music community. Attracting a who’s who of regional Louisiana dance bands along with folk, bluegrass, Tex-mex, gospel, songwriters, and old-time from across North America, it’s the annual culmination of the party that the band brings with them to every stage they play on.
“If you’ve ever been nagged by the feeling that all Cajun and zydeco music was starting to sound a bit too much like the same old thing, The Revelers will toss that notion back on your ears. This is Louisiana-bred party music sustained by the sonorous signature of its native milieu, but perked up by an injection of contemporary pop, rock and R&B.” – Doug Loach, Songlines.
“Cajuns love to revel in their own culture, and thank god for that. The Revelers are drawn from the ranks of the Red Stick Ramblers, one of the best young Cajun bands around. Now these members of the Ramblers have put together a true Cajun country band in The Revelers. Sure, the accordion rides front and center, and sure most of the songs are in Cajun French, but the first and last thing you hear is the country twang and swamp-pop sizzle of Southwest Louisiana. If you want a litmus test for what’s going on in SW Louisiana these days, try out The Revelers. They’re paving a new path with their old school take on Cajun and Country music.” - Devon Leger , No Depression.
The Revelers were nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award. Their album Get Ready was one of five nominees in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category.
“Get Ready is the Reveler’s second collection of original material and it finds the group ready, willing, and able to rock the house. The Revelers’ brand of [Louisiana] music is a masterful mix of Cajun, zydeco, and ‘50s inflected swamp rock, featuring all new compositions that capture the spirit and drive of their stylistic origins, and it is presented by a band of musicians playing at the top of their game.” – Ed Whitelock, Pop Matters.
“Groove bound and dance compelling…” – Dan Willging, OffBeat Magazine
“Jumps from the start…” – Herman Fuselier, The Advertiser
“A true Louisiana supergroup was born…” – Kelly McCartney, The Bluegrass Situation
Please note that the admission price for this concert includes a $2 Venue Improvement Fee that we are required by the St. James Square to collect from every patron. Starting in September 2016, the proceeds from this temporary fee will be used for construction projects such as ventilation, flooring and washrooms that will make the hall a nicer place for you to visit in the future. If you wish, you can make a secure donation by clicking on the big blue button at the bottom of the page at www.sjcommunitysquare.org. For information on donating by phone or post, please contact the St. James Square office at 604-739-9373.