Fiddler, accordionist, lead singer and founder of the group is the Santa-like fellow in the center. His brother, David, is on the guitar on the right. Just behind him is the remarkable Tommy Alesi on drums, behind the conga drums on the left is Billy Ware and on bass at the far left is Mitchell Reed.
Here's a sample of what we heard but I warn you, headphones will give you better audio than the usual tinny computer speakers.
The group pleased the crowd greatly with the selections of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music from their Lafayette, Louisiana repertoire. Michael Doucet was amusing with his stories about the songs and repartee. The group was formed 38 years ago and has been going strong ever since, winning a Grammy award in 1997. And the frequent smiles on the faces of the players revealed what fun they have playing together.
Reed doubled on fiddle and played face to face with Doucet on several improvisational jams. David Doucet showed amazing finger picking on the guitar and occasionally played a ukelele. (And it wasn't "My Dog Has Fleas"!)
Ware played the conga drums and a variety of other percussion instruments, including a washboard. Alesi was a wonder on drums, playing languidly but always right on the mark. More of a wonder was watching him struggle off his stool at the end of the night and walk out slowly with the use of a cane. When the group came out for an encore, Michael explained that Alesi had just had a hip operation.
The concert was called "A Cajun Christmas" and Doucet delighted in introducing several songs as Christmas music. But there was no Jingle Bells, Silent Night or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Doucet donned a Santa hat for a few numbers and Reed and Ware donned elf hats.
Most of the songs were sung in French. Doucet said it wasn't Paris French but a Cajun dialect. All in all it was a terrific evening.
Oh, yes, and I said I had a surprise. It was a surprise to me for sure. As SWMBO and I were taking our seats, a woman in a row just in front of us turned around and said "You're Oddball Observations, aren't you?" I was stunned to be so recognized and after chatting with the lady discovered she was the proprietor of a blog called "Quilted Dogs". I asked how she knew who I was and she said she followed my blog and she even knew about SWMBO and the BRD! It was fun to meet her and, though I don't have a photo of her, I can assure you she is a QD (cutie)!