Mardi Gras ball to feature music of The Revelers | TheUnion.com

Mardi Gras ball to feature music of The Revelers

Submitted to The Union
Nevada City kicks off Mardi Gras with the annual Masquerade Ball, a dance party featuring Grammy nominated-Louisiana band The Revelers, Saturday at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.
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KNOW & GO

WHO: Miners Foundry Cultural Center present Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball featuring the live music from The Revelers

WHEN: Saturday, doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.

WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City

TICKETS: $30 advance, $35 door, $45 for reserved cabaret seating. Cabaret tables seat 1-4 guests. Tickets are available online at www.minersfoundry.org, by phone 530-265-5040 or in person at the Miners Foundry, or at the door. Ticketing fees waived for purchases made by phone or in person via the Miners Foundry Box Office

INFO: www.minersfoundry.org

Nevada City kicks off Mardi Gras with the annual Masquerade Ball, a dance party featuring Grammy nominated-Louisiana band The Revelers, Saturday at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

The brash blasts of the accordion, the shuffle of feet, the wailing vocals in old French. The sound of Cajun music is well known through the United States and abroad. But for Louisiana-based band The Revelers, it’s just the start of the story.

Headquartered in the city of Lafayette in Southwest Louisiana’s Cajun Country (New Orleans is home to jazz, but not a native home to Cajun music), the band is dedicated to the “holy trinity” of Cajun culture: hot music, all-night dancing and great food. But they’re determined to explore the larger world of Louisiana music as well, and with their new album, The End of the River (Au bout de la rivière), they’re tapping into their deep lifetimes of knowledge of Swamp Pop, Zydeco, and old-school Louisiana dancehall music. They’ve synthesized all of these different traditions into a new sound, their own sound.

“This is our arrival record,” says saxophonist and arranger The Chris Miller. “This band started by searching for a sound that incorporated a lot of ideas. Now the process of writing songs is a much more cohesive process. We know what the Revelers sound is!”

Each member contributes to that Revelers sound, from Cajun prodigy Blake Miller, whose Cajun French songwriting and accordion playing is revered among today’s players, to drummer Glenn Fields who’s equally at home playing French Congolese music as he is Cajun honky-tonk. Guitarist Chas Justus brings a deep love for the backbeats and backroads of Louisiana swamp pop, bassist Trey Boudreaux was born in Lafayette, but came up in New York’s jazz scene, and fiddler Daniel Coolik is steeped in the old Cajun twin fiddle tradition. Saxophonist Miller arranges the various parts into a whole, and came up with the novel idea of treating the accordion, fiddle, and saxophone as an ersatz brass section, a sound harkening back to Louisiana soul.

The depth of this band has only developed from digging deeper into the dancehall traditions of Southwest Louisiana and emerging with an arsenal they 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 Southwest Louisiana. 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 50s and 60s, 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 its own unique culture.

The evening will feature a no host full bar and Cajun food available for purchase. Costumes and masks are encouraged.


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