Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames played last night (June 3, 2010) at Rock ‘N’ Bowl in New Orleans, LA.  I got there at 8:30 p.m., just before the first number to a fair crowd.  Chavis is a young man, and the band consisted of electric guitar and bass, keyboards, rubboard and drums, besides Chavis on accordion.  During the evening he played primarily Cajun accordion but switched to a double-row for a couple of songs.  At least one person thought he was Boozoo‘s son and another, grandson.  I didn’t talk to him and haven’t found out since.  He played and sang well, even switching to keyboard at about 11:15 p.m., right before I left.  The repertoire was pretty standard, with old and new songs, including the obligatory Beau Jocque “Cornbread.”  And he played two waltzes!  Many of the younger guys don’t know even one.  There wasn’t much in French, unfortunately.  Geno Delafose is still king of French zydeco.  During one song I caught a bar or two of Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher;” many zydeco artists love to incorporate r&b and reggae. Dig this recent photo of Chavis.  The rubboard player and Chavis swapped vocal chores.  It was a solid performance, pleasing the crowd, which kept getting larger and larger.  At one point a bus disgorged its cargo of new Tulane University students, who had their own dance styles.   There was no break–at least until I left.  That’s not unusual, but must be hard on the band!  They were kind enough to send me home with their CD, The Heat Is On.  It’s got 12 cuts of all original songs.  Thanks!

This video isn’t the best quality, but it does introduce each band member: