The Revelers by Dan Willging
Offbeat, November 2012
Whaddya do when your bread-and-butter band slows down due to a crazy little thing called life? Form another one. That’s what most of the Red Stick Ramblers did by forming alter ego band the Revelers for something totally different. Buy on iTunesBuy on AmazonThe U.K.’s Kent Records’ out-of-printLafayette Soul Show anthology provided inspiration for how more South Louisiana dance music can always be unearthed, in addition to being the source of Jewell & the Rubies’ overlooked “Kidnapper.” “I’m Glad for Your Sake (But I’m Sorry for Mine)” is another such gem, with drummer Glen Fields turning in a terrific performance as an emotive crooner. Swamp pop has a strong presence here but it’s not always your classic power horns, heavy keyboard-pounding variety — instead often an acoustic-centric one with bluesy fiddles, jazz-tinged guitars and a Tex-Mex sounding accordion.
A healthy amount of original material is showcased here, eight tracks’ worth written by four writers. Accordionist Blake Miller finds it easier to write in his adopted French than his native English and adds a refreshing spin to the Cajun canon with four tuneful originals that throttle and swing like crazy. Guitarist Chas Justus tosses in a couple more that are complete opposites, the soul poppy “If You Ain’t Got Love” and the western swing-styled “Blues Take a Holiday” that features such creative lines as “the rules of love are so amendable / that’s why the blues are so dependable.” A delightful debut.