Swamp Pop Legends Tour, Jimmy Hall, C.J. Chenier, Roddie Romero

Western Reserve Folk Arts Association presents

Swamp Pop Legends Tour

Jimmy Hall

C.J. Chenier

Roddie Romero

Sat, March 30, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $25.00

Swamp Pop Legends Tour
Swamp Pop Legends Tour
MAPP The Music App is proud to present the Swamp Pop Legends Tour. This show will feature stars of Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop and Southern Soul genres. Featured on this date are Jimmy Hall, C.J. Chenier, and Roddie Romero.
- Jimmy Hall is best known as the front man and main songwriter for Wet Willie, creating the smash hit "Keep On Smilin'." He has toured extensively in the past couple years with Jeff Beck and Hank Williams Jr. among others, and is highly sought after for his prowess on vocals, harmonica and sax.
- C.J. Chenier comes from a long line of Cajun & Zydeco performers. One of the top instrumentalists and vocalists he has performer world wide and for prestigious shows including Austin City Limits and the New Orleans Jaxx & Heritage Festival among many others.
- Roddie Romero is a Grammy nominated Cajun performer who has toured the US extensively and is considered one of the best multi-instrumentalists in the business.
The show will feature all three performers on stage performing their hits, cover songs, jam sessions, and a few surprises. This show will be a lot of fun and feature stunning instrumental work and incredible vocals that these three are famous for.
Jimmy Hall
Jimmy Hall
Jimmy Hall first gained notoriety as the lead vocalist, saxophonist, and harmonica player for the band Wet Willie, which emerged from Mobile, Alabama in 1970. His unique brand of R&B-infused rock and roll swagger propelled the group’s “Keep On Smilin’” to the Top 10 on the Billboard singles chart in 1974. After five albums with Capricorn Records, Wet Willie moved to the Epic label in 1977, carrying the singles “Street Corner Serenade” and “Weekend” to the Top 40 along with five other songs landing in the Top 100. As a solo artist, Jimmy appeared in the Top 40 yet again with 1980’s “I’m Happy That Love Has Found You.” His appearances on TV staples such as American Bandstand, Solid Gold and others have cemented his part in the pop culture of the Rock era. His songs have been recorded by Gregg Allman, Jason Isbell, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Johnny Russell, and others. Additionally, Jimmy has been a vocalist and bandleader for Hank Williams, Jr. since the 1980s. Jimmy is an inductee of both the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He is also an inductee of the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame. A 2017 Alabama Media Group article dubbed Jimmy “Alabama’s greatest Southern rocker.”

A big part of the Jimmy Hall narrative has been his long and fruitful collaborative friendship with Jeff Beck. Jimmy and Jeff first worked together on Jeff’s Flash album in 1985, which featured his vocals on the songs “Ambitious” and “Gets Us All in the End.” His work on the album earned a Grammy nomination in 1986. That same year, he toured Japan with Jeff’s band. The pair reunited for another Japanese tour in 2005 before going on to join forces once again for a 2014-2015 tour co-headlined by ZZ Top. Jimmy has been “honored and humbled” to work with Jeff frequently in recent years, including their third tour of Japan in 2015, a successful string of dates with Blues legend Buddy Guy in 2016, and a European leg that culminated in a sold-out show at London’s O2 Arena with Van Morrison. You can hear Jimmy’s vocals and harmonica on Jeff’s recent release, the critically acclaimed Live +. Jimmy was also honored to be included in Jeff’s 2017 DVD/2CD album release Live At The Hollywood Bowl where he joined forces with Billy F. Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Jan Hammer, Beth Hart and Steven Tyler.

Jimmy rounded out 2018 by concluding 50 dates with the Jeff Beck group on the 2018 world tour across Europe and the United States. Recent high-profile shows have included appearances for the Devon Allman Project with Duane Betts celebrating the legacy of Gregg Allman & The Allman Brothers Band. 2019 has included Jimmy as a headliner artist for the Southern Rock Cruise appearing along with other Southern Rock legends such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, Blackberry Smoke and many others. A soon to be released public television special will feature Jimmy in an historic concert coupling with the world famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section “Swampers.”
C.J. Chenier
C.J. Chenier
Clayton Joseph (C.J) Chenier was born September 28, 1957 - the son of the great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier.
C.J.'s father was the first Creole musician to win a Grammy Award. C.J. spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas. His earliest musical influences were an eclectic mix of funk, soul, jazz and Motown, and his first musical instruments were piano, tenor saxophone and flute.
It wasn't until his 21st birthday, after winning a scholarship and studying music at Texas Southern University, that C.J. first performed with his famous father and the legendary Red Hot Louisiana band.
On the road his father showed him how to front a world class touring band - teaching C.J. how to run the family business and how to develop his lifelong passion for music into a career. When Clifton died in 1987, his son said it only felt natural to carry on the legacy - and he stepped up to lead the Red Hot Louisiana Band. He recorded his debut album for the great American independent label, Arhoolie Records. As he told a journalist at the time, he does not try to imitate his father's playing: "I play it the way I play it. All my father really told me was to do the best I could do with my own style." In the following years C.J. would record albums Slash Records and the legendary Chicago label Alligator Records.
Today, C.J. continues to record and rack up honors and awards. This year, he is being honored along with his late friend, Clifford Antone, in the acclaimed Museum of the Gulf Coast's Music Hall of Fame in the Golden Triangle; where he will join the likes of Janis Joplin, Tex Ritter, Percy Sledge, George Jones, Marcia Ball, Johnny Winter, The Big Bopper, ZZ Top and, of course, his father, Clifton Chenier.
Roddie Romero
Roddie Romero
Born, raised, and currently residing in Lafayette, Roddie Romero lives and breathes South Louisiana culture. His passion for authenticity shows in multiple aspects of his life, from his music with The Hub City All Stars to what’s cooking in his cast-iron black pot. But before the celebrated frontman had a Grammy nomination and multiple world tours under his belt, he was witnessing the magic of Cajun and zydeco music in his own backyard.

Romero grew up in the Southside, which at the time was a rural part of Lafayette. His family had 30 chicken coops in the backyard, while other parts of the city continued to develop around them. He was the youngest of four siblings by ten years, and feels his brothers and sisters played a large part in shaping who he is today. “It was an interesting way to be influenced by what was going on their lives in terms of music,” Romero says. In between bourré games and dance parties, he would observe the way they embraced music, and began to develop an interest in experiencing it for himself.

In a tradition that still lives on in the Romero family today, every Sunday they would visit their grandparents in the country. While the adults cooked and socialized, the children would climb fig trees and pick pecans until lunch was ready. After everyone’s bellies were sufficiently stuffed with rice and gravy, they would gleefully gather around to watch Romero’s grandfather play the accordion. When he was finished, he would pass off the accordion to Romero, who would spend the rest of day teaching himself how to play the sounds he had previously heard.

“Accordion is my first and only instrument,” Romero says. “I just mess around on other things.”

Soon after, his father purchased an accordion for Romero and his brother. Besides taking a natural interest in the instrument, the accordion has a sentimentality to it. “To me it’s an instrument that is one foot in the past,” Romero explains. “It’s a direct connection to my ancestors because it’s a simple instrument. There are simple melodies that are played on that kind of a box. The things that I’m able to express bring me back to my childhood.”

Although he was underage, Romero sought out Cajun and zydeco performances at clubs and was enamored with local legends like Buckwheat Zydeco. His dedication paid off and Romero quickly became a local legend himself as a professional touring musician while still attending high school.

Romero’s success was generating buzz among the local bar and club circuit, while simultaneously causing controversy because of his underage status. With the help of his mother, Lena, Romero created the “Roddie Romero Bill”, which allowed minors the right to perform in adult venues if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The bill was passed in 1992, and was even used by future members of the his band, The Hub City All Stars.

While he considers the accordion his primary instrument, Romero recalls a defining moment where he first discovered the slide guitar. In his late teens, he was in Canada for the Montreal Jazz Festival and heard an unfamiliar sound coming from a guitar. Following the sound, he found himself at the sound check for renowned Lafayette slide guitarist, Sonny Landreth. Hearing what Landreth could produce inspired Romero to embrace Cajun and zydeco music in a new way. “All my influences are within a 20 mile radius and they still influence me,” Romero says. Discovering a different take on style of the music he grew up with inspired him to develop his own spin on the genre. The timing was impeccable, as Romero was beginning to feel burnt out by his touring schedule and needed his own creative outlet.

The Hub City All Stars was formed over 28 years ago by Romero in Lafayette. As a teenager, Romero had built up a name for himself as an internationally touring musician and other young musicians had taken notice. He was introduced to keyboardist Eric Adcock through his brother, and the two quickly bonded over musical influences like Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino and Otis Redding.

Adcock was building up a reputation himself, playing professionally with blues guitarist Lil’ Buck Senegal and other well-known local musicians. Adcock was a natural choice for a replacement and has been with the band for over 20 years.

“When Roddie really digs into a song vocally, it makes it very believable for the band, which hopefully transfers to the audience,” Adcock explains. “We’re all trying to play from a very soulful place. When you have a frontman like Roddie, who can not only play soulfully but also sings his tail off, it really makes making music that much more enjoyable.”

Bass player Chad Viator, guitarist Chris French, and drummer Jermaine Prejean were all introduced to the band through current members and a similar musical vision. “Even if we’re not playing traditional Cajun or zydeco, but we’re in Canada (or anywhere north of Ville Platte for that matter), the way we play and the way it sounds hopefully really feels like Acadiana and ultimately Lafayette, Louisiana,” Adcock says. “And that’s why we’re the Hub City All Stars.”

Aside from producing a unique take on traditional Louisiana roots music, the band has an unconventional approach to live performances. Romero tailors each performance to energy of the crowd—and nothing is off limits. There are no set lists. There are no guarantees that songs will be played in their original form. The possibilities are endless and it creates a truly memorable experience for both the audience and the band itself.

“He might take a song that we’ve been playing for ten years and play it twice as fast as he normally would,” French explains. “Or take that same song the next night and play it as slow blues instead. He keeps us on our toes. It’s a little bit like I think it would be like playing with James Brown.”

Adcock describes performing with Romero as an organically creative experience. “He lights the match when he starts the song and then he lets it burn.”

The band approaches recording in the same vein. They are set to soon release their first album since 2007’s La Louisianne Sessions in the fall of 2015. Recorded at Louisiana’s own Dockside Studio, the album was written by Romero and Adcock, produced by legend, John Porter, and recorded through a holistic approach that lets the songs come together through their own natural process. Viator explains, “Some of the ideas they had brought in completely did a 180 from what maybe they thought they would be to what they are actually are going to be.” The band plays through each song and experiments with every aspect until the right sound is produced.

Their upcoming release is a bit of a departure from their previous music, focusing more on individual songs than a specific genre. “Evolution is an appropriate term,” Adcock says. “It’s no holds barred, no apologies. This is what we’ve been writing.”

He continues, “The most common theme throughout all of our original material is “sense of place”. And that’s Lafayette, Louisiana.”
Venue Information:
The Kent Stage
175 East Main
Kent, OH, 44240