Friday, August 28, 2009

Local Bin

By Cecil Doyle

Always liked the term, "Howdie". Be it my earliest cathode-tube-recall of Buffalo Bob on the receiving end of quips & retorts from the wooden Mr. Doody or Cousin Minnie Pearl screeching the term in hickatonic glee; it's very sound as satisfying as a heaping plate of rice 'n gravy. That being said, the area band of hayseed stompers known as The Howdies have self-released a batch of 15 dittties that both simmer and satisfy. With production help from Jay Burton, they've packaged and released a homespun, knee-slap of an album with the boastful title, MADE WITH PURE LIGHTNING. Julian Primeaux more or less fronts the outfit on lead vocals and guitar, flanked by bassist Christopher Slim and the Keller boys (Stuart: harmonica, kazoo & vocals / Austin: percussion & gadgets) waxing it down in back.

They've been a semi-regular staple of the area club scene for at least the past couple of years and this effort definitely bears the fruit of that season. From the opening toe-tapper, "Bogalusa Stomp" on through the finality expressed in "Long Pine Box", a whoopin' good time is guaranteed for all. The bolt bursting bottle of spirit-lifting elixir pictured on the disc's cover, flanked by rusty hammer and fading wallpaper speaks volumes on the sound made within. For more info, check it out at either or

Longtime Lafayette area guitar hero, Micheal Juan Nunez has just released the follow-up to his last disc, ABOUT TO SNAP (which has continuously remained a constant in a good majority of KRVS' programming for the past few years). THE AMERICAN ELECTRIC boasts 12 fine new originals and is MJN's most diverse effort to date. Besides remaining a torch bearer to the Lafayette Slide Sound so prevalent and masterful in the styles of Sonny Landreth and Roddie Romero; Micheal's fingerprints also stream out of Seventies New York-styled punk ("Punks Like You"), true Delta spirit ("Coming Home", "Mr. Jones"), breezy Soul ("Groove With Me"), sexy Prince-like funky bravado ("Hard Sometimes") and a surprising foray into 1920s crooning ala Rudy Vallee ("Goodbye"). In fact overall, his vocal approach comes off as more relaxed and self-assured than ever on this outting which also boasts several fine examples of continuous track sequencing, an art seemingly abandoned by most these days. With the track record of his former band, Riverbabys as well as sitting in with established area artists like Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars on a pretty regular basis; Micheal Juan is poised as one of the true bedrocks of Lafayette's musical soundscape. Sample tracks from THE AMERICAN ELECTRIC on his website at

No commercially available recording has arrived yet from Sam Rey. Neither have they gigged much (having to my knowledge, performed maybe just once or twice in public, thus far). But this should in no way deter you from searching out one of the area's best kept new secrets. Like ominous smoke rings lifting from the ashes of Bluerunners (the band who in my humble opinion were most emblematic of the sum of everything musical about the Lafayette area for the past twenty-something years), Mark Meaux and Will Golden ARE Sam Rey. When they debuted recently at The Blue Moon Saloon, a small gathering of locals witnessed a truly unique musical experience. Sitting comfortably side-by-side near the front edge of the tiny stage, an antique lamp table (complete with working lamp) between them serving as platform for their accompanying effects / drum machine; they wailed a brief set of down home, blues-informed dittys that bore little resemblance of the dance inducing rhythms that fueled their former long running vehicle. Meaux's Dylan-by-the-way-of-Grand Coteau-esque vocal delivery stews perfectly with the duo's rootsy musical plate peppered to the fullest by multi-instrumentalist Will Golden on a variety of stringed instruments (steel & slide guitars, banjo, etc.). Every tune sounded like home.....even the spacey, transmission static employed on great original numbers like "Satellite Lights" (perhaps because that particular tune leaves me feeling like I've just walked on the moon!). Besides being able to catch fleeting moments of their tracks regularly on my own weekday radio program on KRVS; about the only other way to currently catch a batch of Sam Rey is by checking out their MySpace page ( or just 'google' or 'bing' them up on your computer and something is bound to happen. Try and keep the feet still with "March On" or wonder just when the New Orleans Tourist Commission will catch hold of and use their new track, "Meet Me In New Orleans" and slap it on every television and radio commercial they produce over the next five years. Expect pure brightness from Sam Rey!

Cecil Doyle, originally from Mamou, knows everything there is to know about music. He hosts the Medicine Ball Caravan every Monday - Thursday at 11am and Jah Mon heard weekly on KRVS 88.7. He also serves at the station's Music Contact.

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