2012 Bands and Performers
R. Cajun & the Zydeco Brothers
"Widely regarded as the most authentic and exciting Cajun band in the country". The Observer
R. Cajun are probably the UK's best known Cajun band. Since the early 1980s, they have played throughout this country and abroad, made numerous radio and TV appearances, recorded seven albums, and introduced countless thousands to the dance music of the Louisiana bayous.
To achieve their authentic and rich sound the band combines some of the best Cajun musicians in the country with the traditional line up of accordion, fiddle, guitar and triangle supported by bass and drums. This 6-piece line-up gives them their big dancehall sound and allows them to produce not just some of the best Cajun music you will hear this side of Lafayette but also some of the finest Zydeco, Swamp Pop and Louisiana Blues too.
- Chris Hall: cajun accordion, vocals
- Mitch Proctor: fiddle, vocals
- Murray Brailsford: guitars, vocals
- Dave Blant: bass, vocals
- Jan Hall: triangle, rub-board
- Andy McAllister: drums
A popular hit at our festival two years ago, we're delighted to welcome back Gavin Lewery's "rockin' Cajun dance band". The band's mission is to re-create the sound of the 1940s and 1950s, when Cajun was known by the old folks as "chanky-chank" and heavily influenced by Rock'n'Roll, Country, and Western Swing.
Paying homage to legendary musicians of this era such as Aldus Roger, Nathan Abshire, and Pee Wee Brousard, Chanky-Chank add their own unique spice to the pot to produce an irresistible dance groove.
- Gavin Lewery: accordion, vocals
- Loraine Baker Wakefield: double-bass, vocals
- Pete Wakefield: guitar
- Ian Tothill: fiddle
- Andy Watson: drums
The Zydeco Diamonds
The 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.
- Gavin Lewery: accordion, vocals
- Sue Warren: rub-board, vocals
- Andy Watson: drums
- Kev Torne: guitar
- Rob Hill: bass
The Creole Brothers
This new pairing of two of the UK's finest Cajun performers presents a musical hommage to the great Louisiana Creole musicians Bois Sec Ardoin and Canray Fontenot, Bébé and Eraste Carrière, Albert Chevalier and others.
They play music from the roots of zydeco, evoking dark, smoky, crowded clubs in Lawtell and Opelousas and Lafayette. Driving fiddle, pumping accordion, vocals that can cut corn bread, blues that tear at your heart, dances you wouldn't want your daughter to know.
Charlie Skelton is one of the hottest roots fiddle players around. Phil Underwood has won two awards in Louisiana for his accordion playing and has played Creole music in the black clubs of Lafayette.
Downtown Cajun Band (Holland)
The Downtown Cajun Band play Cajun music in the "old time" style of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Led by former Cajun Company fiddler Will Pieters, this wonderful Dutch 4-piece will enchant you with music in the tradition of Dennis McGee, Wade Fruge and Dewey Balfa.
Having delighted audiences at festivals throughout Europe over the years, the band had the privilege last year of playing a live TV broadcast performance at the Liberty Theatre in Eunice, Louisiana USA.
- Will Pieters: fiddle
- Ron van Doorneveld: accordion, vocals
- Ed van Dorp: guitar, vocals
- Netty Pieters: 'tit fer
Whiskey River Boys at The Folk House Cafe & Bar
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 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 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
See Swamprock Website for more info.