Two of the finest roots music fiddle players working today – Louisiana’s Michael Doucet of BeauSoleil and Berkeley’s Tom Rigney – joined forces to release one of the hottest Cajun music albums of recent years in 2016. Doucet, Rigney and Rigney’s band Flambeau will reprise their “Cajun Fandango” line-up on Thursday, May 23 with a show at The Palms Playhouse starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $24 ($12 with student ID). With a repertoire drawing on a range of roots music styles including Cajun two-steps and waltzes, blues and New Orleans grooves, the show will feature dazzling interplay between the two fiddlers, as well as Rigney’s four-piece band, Flambeau. In addition to their instrumental prowess, Rigney and Doucet are adept at penning original songs and seeking out and refreshing songs from the Cajun and zydeco traditions. Doucet is the premiere Cajun fiddle player, beginning his tenure in the 1970s when he founded BeauSoleil. For forty years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has taken Cajun music out of Louisiana and put it on the stages of the world. He has both preserved the music of his culture and expanded its horizons. The inheritor of a great tradition of Cajun fiddlers such as Dennis McGee and Canray Fontenot, Doucet is also a composer and songwriter whose compositions have broadened and deepened the rich vein of South Louisiana music. In 2005, Doucet was one of 12 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA award, which recognizes artistic excellence, cultural authenticity and an artist’s contributions, is the highest honor in U.S. folk and traditional arts. Doucet received Grammy Awards in 1996, 1997 and 2008 for work with BeauSoleil. Berkeley-based Rigney has become a leading blues and roots music violinists over the past several decades. After fifteen years at the helm of the swamp-rock band The Sundogs, Rigney put together his current band, Flambeau, in 2000 and has toured and recorded extensively ever since. A prolific composer and songwriter, Rigney has released more than a dozen albums of original songs and instrumental pieces since 2000. His range as a composer runs from Cajun two-steps to blues to roots rock and roll to ballads and waltzes. His three blues violin CDs all climbed to Number 1 on the XM/Sirius Satellite Radio Bluesville chart, and his recordings with Flambeau have gotten countless spins from Americana programmers all over the US and Canada. His high-energy, virtuosic playing and his commanding spirited stage presence are hallmarks of Rigney’s performing style, and his performances at many North American traditional jazz festivals have brought attention to the genre. Rigney’s long-time band Flambeau will join the fiddlers. Flambeau is renowned guitarist Danny Caron (Marcia Ball, Clifton Chenier, Charles Brown), boogie queen Caroline Dahl on keys, Steve Parks on bass and Brent Rampone on drums. Together, Rigney, Doucet and Flambeau tear it up in a spontaneous, virtuosic, deeply musical and completely irresistible way. A dance floor will be open. Tickets are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and Eventbrite, and at the door if not sold out. For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com, tomrigney.com and beausoleilmusic.com. ]]>
It'll be a "Cajun Fandango" when Michael Doucet, Tom Rigney and Flambeau play The Palms on Thursday, May 23
Doucet, Rigney and Rigney’s band Flambeau will reprise their “Cajun Fandango” line-up on Thursday, May 23 with a show at The Palms Playhouse starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $24 ($12 with student ID).