2017 Band Bio's by Bob Adamek
Kim Wilson and Jimmy Vaughan formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1974. They have come a long way since their Austin Texas days as a blues band, incorporating so many American music influences such as Cajun, R&B and Rock and Roll. Their biggest commercial success came in 1986 with top 40 hits “Tuff Enuff”, “Wrap it Up” and “Look at That”. Since that time Wilson has kept the band moving forward, touring and keeping their music fresh. The Fabulous Thunderbirds are the Saturday Main Stage headliners!
Anders Osborne’s musical footprint is growing ever larger on the New Orleans music scene as a writer, producer and A List act. He has produced albums for Tab Benoit, Johnny Sansone and Mike Zito, he co-wrote two Grammy winning songs with Keb Mo, and a number one hit for country artist Tim McGraw. All this and he continues to put out great album after album of his own, featuring his pure and sweet voice, soulful and often muscular guitar playing, and most importantly, song writing that goes straight to the heart of the matter.
Tab Benoit, as a performer, is many things at the same time. He can be a captivating storyteller, a comedian, a shredding blues guitarist, a drummer, or any number of other things, and many times you can see all of that in one show. But what he always is, is an honest and soulful performer, a great writer selling his songs with emotion that’s as plain to see as his well-worn arsenal of road weary Fender Telecasters. Tab is a long time Crawfish Fest favorite and will be playing the Main Stage on Saturday. With so many of Tab’s NOLA friends on site, this might be the type of set to draw a festival favorite, the sit-in.
Rebirth Brass Band
The Grammy winning Rebirth Brass Band is one New Orleans most famous musical ambassadors. From their long standing Tuesday night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar, to festival main stages all over the world, the band has delighted audiences with a unique combination of traditional brass band, funk, hip hop, R&B and the unmistakable sound of New Orleans. Rebirth’s influence has spread far and wide, but no more than in their own New Orleans, where legions of younger brass bands have also learned to soak up a myriad of musical influences to adapt into the brass band style. Rebirth hits the Main Stage right before the Sunday festival headliner, Anders Osborne.
Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience
Terrance Simien accomplished something that no other zydeco musician ever has, winning a second Grammy! Terrance’s new album, Dockside Sessions won the 2014 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Album. Through years of touring and recording, Terrance has proved his worth as an artist, a legacy that is now enshrined with music’s highest honor, the Grammys.
Terrance is very adept at interpreting any song into his zydeco style, and you can see his highly energetic stage show opening the Main Stage and closing the Pavilion stage on Saturday. Terrance will also give a workshop on Saturday at 1:00pm, come and see what a master of his craft has to teach you.
Charles “The Horn Man” Neville, sax player and founding member of New Orleans first family of funk, The Neville Brothers, will close the Pavilion Stage on Sunday. Charles started his career at a very young age, leaving high school to go on tour, an occupation that has lasted his entire life. Charles toured with many of music’s biggest names like, James Brown, B. B. King and Ray Charles, as well as playing with his brothers in the Wild Tchoupitoulas and Neville Brothers. Crawfish Fest is excited beyond words to have Charles play on our stage.
Henry Butler’s Jambalaya Band
Henry Butler is widely regarded for his importance in the long line of historical New Orleans piano players. Henry has combined a percussive jazz style with that of the like of New Orleans masters, Professor Longhair and James Booker, both of which he studied with, which has earned him 10 nominations for the Pinetop Perkins Best Blues Instrumentalist Award. Butler’s soulful voice also tailors perfectly with his jazz/blues style of playing. His sets have been long time favorites at Jazz Fest, and this year Henry Butler’s Jambalaya Band will close the Friday night set for campers and King Crawfish Krewe ticket holders.
Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie
Geno Delafose was born into the Zydeco tradition, playing in his father’s band, the Eunice Playboys from the time he was eight, in 1979. By 1994 he was fronting his own band, French Rockin’ Boogie, and they are still playing together today. As Geno has pushed the envelope of Zydeco, infusing influences from traditional Cajun music as well as Country music, he was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007. Geno will be busy on Sunday this year at Crawfish Fest, opening the Pavilion Stage and closing the Dance Hall Stage.
Little Freddie King
Little Freddie King is an authentic blues legend. Cousin to Lightin’ Hopkins, Freddie cut his teeth playing gigs with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker and did a stint as bass player for Freddie King which is when he got his nickname. The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame member King, is a charter member of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, playing at every festival since its inception, and this year he will be playing Crawfish Fest Saturday night for campers and King Crawfish Krewe ticket holders.
John Papa Gros Band
Long time Crawfish Fest favorite, John Gros is back this year with his new band, John Papa Gros Band. John’s band Papa Grows Funk was a Crawfish Fest staple though their thirteen-year run. But fans of funk and true New Orleans piano are in for a real treat on Sunday’s Main Stage set. John brings friends Tim Robertson on guitar, bassist Austin Clements and drummer Russ Broussard to play music that touches John’s love of both New Orleans styled piano and organ music. Don’t be late and bring your dancin’ shoes!
The New Stew
The New Stew is a well-described super group of renowned musicians from all genres of music that brings some old Crawfish Fest friends back, such as Corey Glover (Living Colour, Galactic) on vocals, Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys) on Lap Steel/ Pedal Steel and Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band, Royal Southern Brotherhood) on percussion. Also playing in The New Stew are Dave Yoke (Susan Tedeschi Band, Dr. John) on guitar, Jared Stone (Stone’s Stew) on drums, and Matt Slocum (Oteil and the Peacemakers, Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Lee Boys) on piano. This will be a treat as they close the Saturday night music in the Dance Hall with a performance for campers and King Crawfish Krewe ticket holders.
Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band entered rarified air in 2011 by winning a Grammy for their album Zydeco Junkie. They also won a Best of the Beat award form Offbeat Magazine that same year for Best Zydeco album. The band has played many major festivals including Jazz Fest and the Montreaux Jazz Fest in Switzerland. Typical of great Zydeco music, Chubby Carrier combines many styles into his music like funk, rock and roll and blues, all together in a very high-energy show.
Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys
Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys will leave their southern Louisiana home to invade the Dance Hall on Saturday of this year’s Crawfish Fest. Kevin and his band were named the Band of the Year, three times by the Cajun French Music Association, as well as many other awards for Album of the Year and individual musicianship. But more important than any of the awards is the way they pack a dance floor and the connection they have with their fans.
Cabinet’s appearance on the Pavilion Stage on Saturday marks a first time lineup twist for Crawfish Fest. Cabinet is a Bluegrass band from Pennsylvania. Although New Orleans has a vibrant Bluegrass scene, it had not yet reached the Crawfish Fest stages, and Cabinet will make a great introduction for this genre. Since forming in 2006 Cabinet has produced 7 albums, putting their own modern stamp on the musical traditions of the folk, country and Appalachian music that they cherish.
Feufollet is a band on a musical mission. They seek to bring more musical genres to the Cajun music experience, widening the audience along the way. Their hometown of Lafayette, LA has become an incubator for Cajun music’s transformation, evolving and growing to include elements of rock, country and indie pop. Feufollet is living and writing at this epicenter, and will be very busy at Crawfish Fest this year, playing two sets on Saturday and one on Sunday.
The Brooklyn based Yarn brings the Americana genre back to Crawfish Fest. Yarn has six albums and a Grammy nomination under their belt, along with an endless touring schedule that has seen them play over 1000 shows. They have been featured on the radio program Mountain Stage and on Sirius/XM, as well as playing festivals all over the country. Their music is definitely centered in the American roots scene and their shows center around the band playing in a deep pocket. Their solid groove has brought them a large and dedicated fan base known as the “Yarmy”. Don’t miss Yarn when they hit the Pavilion Stage on Saturday.
Brandon “Taz” Niederauer
Looking at the career of Brandon “Taz” Niederauer seems like it is a glance at a long career for a top level pro, not a tiny slice of time for a 13 year old. Taz started playing guitar at 8, by the time he was 12 he was cast in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway Production of School of Rock. Along the way his soulful playing has put him under the wing of many of today’s top pros. Taz is a regular guest of many New Orleans bands like Dumpstaphunk, Galactic, The Revivalists and George Porter Jr. as well as playing with Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, Slash, Gary Clarrk Jr., Dr. John and many many more. Yes he is really 13 and is well worth your time to check out. He will be doing a workshop/performance on Sunday at the Workshop Stage.
Alexis P. Suter Band
A Crawfish Fest fan favorite, Alexis P. Suter will be on the Main Stage on Saturday before Tab Benoit. Known for Gospel influenced blues, Alexis was a favorite performer of the late great Levon Helm. Suter opened for Helm on many dates and played at Levon’s famous Midnight Ramble, which resulted in an acclaimed CD/DVD Live at The Midnight Ramble. Suter’s soulful energy is infectious! This will be the bands fourth Crawfish Fest appearance.
Nick Moss Band
Nick Moss is a dedicated blues musician. Not to just playing the blues, but to understanding the blues from all of its eras, all of its forms. His 2016 release, album number 12 in Nick’s catalogue, is a double CD titled “From The Root To The Fruit”. The first disc explores traditional blues forms while the second disc delves into modern and progressive structures. The album is nominated for two 2017 Blues Music Awards: Album of the Year & Contemporary Album of the Year. Nick is passionate about his band and his music and will be playing the Pavilion Stage on Sunday this year.
Mason Ruffner has a distinct Texas swagger to his rock and roll blues. Ruffner has mixed it up with some of music’s biggest names, playing on Bob Dylan’s record Oh Mercy and Daniel Lanois’ Acadie. Ruffner also has toured with Jimmy Page, U2, Ringo Star and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as backing up John Lee Hooker and Memphis Slim. A New Orleans resident since the late 70’s, Ruffner has five albums to his name and brings his hard driving sound to Crawfish Fest on Friday night for campers and King Crawfish Krewe ticket holders.
Darcy Malone and the Tangle
Darcy Malone, the daughter of the Radiators Dave Malone, and her husband, guitarist Christopher Boye are the husband and wife team at the heart of The Tangle. Getting the Tangle moniker from the tangled array of musical influence on their music, the band writes infectious pop and rock melodies that fill their debut record Still Life. Darcy Malone and the Tangle kick off all the festivities of Crawfish Fest 2017 with their set on Friday night for campers and King Crawfish Krewe ticket holders on the Pavilion Stage.
John Ginty Band
Keyboardist John Ginty has been a long time renowned sideman, touring with Jewel, Santana, Citizen Cope, Matthew Sweet, The Dixie Chicks and is a founding member of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Ginty now has three studio albums as a solo artist and is touring behind the most recent Rockers, featuring New Jersey’s own Aster Pheonyx on vocals. John and his band will be doing a workshop and performance on Saturday on the Workshop Stage.
John The Martyr