The Big Easy Playboys CD ‘Louisiana Roots’ features a lot of local talent. Here’s the kicker, in a city like New Orleans, featuring local talent has a way of including world class musicians both well known and unknown. Friend of the band Amanda Shaw lends her fiddle to the opening track, ‘Holly Beach’. John Gros (Papa Grows Funk, Geroge Porter Jr., Funky Meters) shows off his honky tonk piano skills on a number of songs. Jimmy Messa (Subdudes, Tommy Malone) lays down the Bass. The cajun accordion and French vocals are done by Mitch Cormier (The Greatful Dead, The Can’t Hardly Playboys), and piano accordion is by Greg ‘Shatzy’ Shatz (The Believers). Of course the backing vocals are provided by the band’s very own Big Easy Chorus, singing songs 16oz at a time. Lynn Drury, Pleshette ‘Queen’ Hollmon and Tiffany Pollack.
It’s not very often you find a drummer as a front man. On this disc, drummer / singerStephen Randall (provided back beats for Tab Benoit, Amanda Shaw, Beth Patterson, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and countless other artists) shared that spotlight with long time friend and road mate, guitarist / singer John Lisi (of John Lisi and Delta Funk and also countless others). The two brought in songs they had written on their own and let this band bring them to life. The lone collaboration between the two produced the rollicking “Holly Beach” where the story of a hot lazy day evolves into a weekend get away for a fun loving couple at one of Louisiana’s most unique ‘beach’ areas. More collaborations are to follow.
The Big Easy Playboys are based in New Orleans but draw heavily on the Cajun/Zydeco culture that thrives all around the state. Incorporating the classic instruments of cajun accordion and fiddle with the bluesy/roots rock sound of guitars and pulsing drums, ‘Louisiana Roots’ gives the listeners a dose of the music that lives and breathes life into the Big Easy and the surrounding communities.
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