2013 Bands & Performers

Racines Trio featuring Steve Riley (USA)

Racines trio sitting on a sofaThe late Dewey Balfa once said "A culture is like a tree, you have to water the roots, but you can't go cutting off the branches every time the tree tries to grow". Well, Racines (which means "roots" in French) both waters the roots and stretches outward. A collaborative project of three gentlemen who are all well-known Cajun musicians in their own right, Racines explores the varying musical traditions that call South-west Louisiana home: Cajun music, Zydeco, blues and more. Their only self-titled CD release garnered a Grammy nomination in 2007.

Steve Riley, of Mamou Louisiana, is a widely acknowledged master of the Cajun accordion and its singularly powerful sound. There has never been an official competition among Cajun accordionists. Whenever a contest does arise, Steve Riley usually wins it, or judges it. Despite the lack of official metrics or quantifying factors, it remains true that most people think Steve is the best there is, and very few would argue the point. His playing is a standard by which timing, phrasing and ingenuity are measured on the royal instrument of South Louisiana. That, combined with his searing, emotional vocals, song-writing, soulful fiddling and onstage front man charisma have had an impactful influence on many younger musicians in south Louisiana.

Kevin Wimmer has been playing fiddle since the tender age of three. He performed frequently with Dewey Balfa and learned the essence of the tradition directly from him. Over the years he has performed most notably all over the globe with Preston Frank and the blues and swing inspired Red Stick Ramblers. Kevin brings a Creole influence to Racines, as exhitibed by his unique fiddle repertoire and his powerful vocals.

Chris Stafford is a musician and producer/recording engineer based in Lafayette, LA. He is a four time grammy nominee, playing on albums with Feufollet, Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole, and Racines. As a session musician he has contributed to recording sessions with Dr. John and to the score of the to the film Baraboo by long time David Lynch collaborator, Mary Sweeney. Stafford has engineered many albums by a variety local artists and operates a recording studio in Lafayette, La. He is a founding member of the progressive Cajun band Feufollet with whom he has toured around the United States, France, Canada, Mexico, and England.

The Big Easy

The Big Easy montage of musicians on stageAn exciting international collaboration bringing together some of the best and most experienced Cajun musicians in Europe! With a collective desire to deliver the best Cajun dancehall sounds around!

Smooth and effortless with a splash of rock n roll, a sprinkling of country, and gallons of footstompin soul! The Big Easy are here! The dancing is easy.. the hard bit is stopping!

David Buyle (fiddle) From Belgium, David is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished Cajun fiddlers in Europe, Original member of the Dutch super group The Acadian Ramblers, David also plays with The Cajun Roosters, Hazel Scott Playboys, and Bluegrass outfit Rocks and Ivy.

Gavin Lewery (accordion) - well known and highly respected Cajun accordionist, has pioneered many Cajun and Zydeco projects spanning over 20 years, Gavin also plays with The Zydeco Diamonds (see below), The Flatville Aces, Chanky Chank, as well as playing drums with The Hazel Scott Playboys.

Vera van Heeringen (bass guitar and fiddle) - Extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and singer from Holland, Vera has recently released her first solo album 'Standing Tall' which is receiving great acclaim. Vera also plays Fiddle, Bass and Guitar with The Flatville Aces.

Andy Watson (drums) - Most sought after drummer on the Euro Cajun and Zydeco scene, Andy is one of the few drummers outside of Louisianna who actually 'gets the groove'. Andy also plays with The Flatville Aces, Chanky Chank, The Zydeco Diamonds, and is the dynamic rubboard player with Li'l Jims Big Squeeze.

Kev Torne (Guitar) - Fabulous electric guitarist and vocalist, Kev brings that splash of rock'n'roll to the mix, with a little country spice thrown in, Kev is well known on the scene having played for many years with the mighty Joe Le Taxi Zydeco Band, and more recently The Zydeco Diamonds.

The Zydeco Diamonds

Zydeco Diamonds on stageThe Zydeco Diamonds take their inspiration from a younger generation of Louisiana musicians - such as Corey Ledet, Jeffery Broussard and Cedric Watson - who are moving away from the modern "hip-hop" sounds of current mainstream Zydeco, and back to the Creole influenced roots of the "old-school" style.

Featuring the cream of the UK's Zydeco musicians (including the best zydeco drummer this side of the Atlantic, Andy Watson), The Zydeco Diamonds deliver irresistible, funky, foot-stomping, high energy dance music, pure and simple, from your head down to your dancing feet.

Rough Chowder

Rough Chowder on stageRough Chowder is an exciting six-piece band from Sussex presenting a lively repertoire of traditional and revamped Cajun, Zydeco and Swamp Blues from the Bayou’s of Louisiana, together with a heady mix of rockabilly thrown in for good measure.


Out of the Swamp

Out of the SwampOut of the Swamp take their music from the hot bayous of fun-lovin’ Cajun country and bring it down home to UK shores. Their music is pure back porch Cajun and has been delighting audiences up and down the country.

They boast the country’s most celebrated Cajun accordion maestro, Chris Hall who has taken his squeezebox to play and record with the greats, Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Mike Harding, Seth Lakeman, Kate Bush and Bernie Marsden to name but a few from the UK and with legends from Louisiana like Steve Riley, Mitch Reed, Randy Vidrine, Cedric Watson and Corey Ledet.

Mitch Proctor on fiddle is a veteran of this kind of music (R. Cajun, Zydecomotion, Bayou Noir, Deepzone Zydeco, Big Easy) and has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest Cajun and old-time fiddlers in the country.

Taking up a solid rhythm section is Hazel Scott (Cajun Roosters, Hazel Scott Playboys, Petit et la Gross) on driving guitar and authentic Cajun lead and harmony vocals. And finally on second fiddle special guest David Buyle (see above).

This gig will be a delight for anyone who likes to dance or just sit back and listen to cajun music played with passion style and grace!

Whiskey River Boys at The Folk House Cafe & Bar

Whiskey River Boys Firm festival favourites, the versatile musicians / vocalists "The Whiskey River Boys" are in reality Martin and Aidan from the UK zydecajun band "Whiskey River". They play Louisiana swamp music from the Deep South plus Old Timey, Bluegrass, Country-Blues and whatever else they fancy... and they play with a genuine passion for the music. They perform in the UK and elsewhere. Meet them at their friendly and inclusive jam sessions in the festival bar for singing, dancing and playing. You'll have a good time just listening, but more so if you JOIN IN.

"The Whiskey River Boys... Magic, sheer magic... a storming triumph!" Folk Wales, 2008.

As everyone has different things to offer, Carol and Kay have swapped styles this year!

Carol Wilson (zydeco dance)

Carol Wilson Carol Wilson first discovered Cajun and Zydeco dancing in Los Angeles where by chance she saw CJ Chenier in a bar and to her amazement young couples got up to dance together! Since then she has made regular trips to Louisiana. As the drummer in the Cajun band Zigazag and Colin & The Crawfish she has studied Cajun and Creole music and played with some of the top musicians there. Over the years Carol has also watched the changing nature of their dances. She has refined her own techniques and has taught at a number of festivals and classes throughout the UK and Europe. Carol aims to make her classes simple and accessible to all because “Dancing should be about having fun and enjoying the music.”

Kay Anderson (cajun dance)

Kay Anderson teaching a zydeco workshop Kay Anderson has been dancing all her life but got hooked on cajun and zydeco music a number of years ago at Broadstairs Folk Festival. Finding gigs and workshops locally proved difficult so she started her own regular dance workshops in Kent where she offered to share what she had learnt. She has led the cajun and or zydeco dance workshops at the Bristol Cajun & Zydeco Festival since 2004, at the Gloucester International Cajun & Zydeco Festival since 2006 and each year at the Broadstairs Folk Festival since 2001 - as well as teaching a monthly cajun and zydeco dance workshops in Kent! If you’re down south, look up kentcajun.org.uk and come and join in the fun. "You learn by doing!"

MCs and & DJs Lil' Queenie and Flying Home from Swamprock, London

Carole and Nigel

Nigel Bewley (aka "Flying Home") has been DJ-ing since 1972 and was bitten by Zydeco music in 1986 when hanging around the offices and studios of Island Records he met Buckwheat Zydeco, the label's new signing. Nigel has a huge record collection of many different styles and when DJ-ing likes nothing better to make people dance to tunes he loves. Laissez les bons temps roulez - vous avez raison!

Carole Lateman (aka "Lil' Queenie") has always been a passionate fan of music and dance. In 1988, on her first visit to New Orleans, she discovered the exciting rhythms of Cajun and Zydeco music and dance. In 2004, together with Neil Papworth, she started London’s Swamp Rock Club, putting on regular dances with live Zydeco bands, and also DJ-ing with her husband, Nigel. Together, they have run stages at The Thames Festival, promoted gigs at The 100 Club and other London venues, and DJ-ed at numerous dances and private parties. As a dancer, she knows what music to play to get that dance floor jumping!

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