Drew was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana and developed an interest in Cajun music in his late teens. At 20, he began playing the accordion and started learning the words to many of the songs in his huge Cajun music repertoire.
Although not owning his own accordion until he was 25, Drew has been a go to guy for many Cajun bands in need including Balfa Toujours, Jesse Lege and the Lake Charles Ramblers, Les Bassettes, The Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Paul Daigle and Cajun Gold, High Performance, and the Savoy Family band to name a few. He is deeply influenced in his style of music by dancehall legends Walter Mouton, Aldus Roger, Jesse Lege, Belton Richard, and Lawrence Walker. Fluent in french, Drew has been blessed to travel the world playing and teaching for the past 13 years as drummer/vocalist for the GRAMMY nominated Cajun band, the Pine Leaf Boys and 47 states.
When we talk about Zydeco royalty, the Ardoin family name is probably the most revered. As the nephew of the legendary Alphonse ‘Bois Sec’ Ardoin, Harold Guillory takes his seat at the top table.
Back in 2000 Harold started his own television show ‘Louisiana Zydeco Live’. Prior to that he became a popular and well known musician playing rubboard in his cousin Chris Ardoin’s band Double Clutchin.
Harold has travelled the world playing Zydeco music and teaching dance lessons, visiting such places as Japan, the UK and Europe; as well as many states in the US.
When people speak of the best Zydeco dancer, instructor and rubboard player, no one compares to the iconic Harold Guillory!
Los Gallos was formed by Manolo Gonzales in 1999. He had seen Flaco Jimenez perform in Paris the year before and fell in love with the music.
Manolo already played bass, banjo and guitar, so he had a bajo-sexto made by a Parisian luthier, which he learned to play watching videos of Max Baca. He and his friend, Thierry Carpentier, who had just started playing accordion, began playing songs learned from Flaco CDs between sets at their regular Disneyland Paris music job. Another friend, David Rolland, joined them soon after, playing bass and singing harmony.
David and Manolo decided to go to San Antonio the following year for the Tejano Conjunto Festival. Manolo bought a bajo-sexto from the legendary Don Martin Macias and all the CDs he could find, returning to Paris with a stack of over 40 new Tex-Mex albums. Joined by two other friends, they began playing the music seriously, at some of Europe’s biggest festivals, opening once for Dwight Yokam. They quickly developed a strong reputation and were twice invited to return to the Tejano Conjunto Festival not as spectators, but as performers. Flaco Jimenez heard one of their original songs, “Tan Sola”, and liked it so much he recorded it on his album Squeeze Box King (2003).
After ten years of touring, and two albums, Thierry took a break to start a family. Manolo and David started playing Cajun music, which carved a steady path for them for another ten years, though there were occasional sold-out Los Gallos reunion concerts during the hiatus.
Sister Suzie hails from the northernmost tip of Northumberland, it was her love of singing R&B that took her first to New Orleans, and then across the UK to Hastings on the East Sussex coast, where she has made her home for the last few years.
While she was appearing with many bands here and abroad, she made her first solo EP in July 2016. From the session players she hired for that recording Suzie asked guitarist Matt Jackson and drummer Brian Nevill to help form her first band. Soon after bassist Darren ‘Eddie’ Edwards was recruited to complete the core of the group, together with a rotating sax section that has included Mike Paice, John Wallace, Nick Lunt and Aaron Liddard.
Regular appearances in London followed. It was in July 2017, just after their first trip to Europe, that Suzie and the band released their first single on Suzie’s own label. They are currently working on their first album, which should be released this year. Watch out for it!
She’s a little lady with a big voice who’s fresh and energetic on the stage giving everything she has into every note she sings.
Bobcat Billy’s Moonshine Mission
Bobcat Billy’s Moonshine Mission were formed around 5 years ago, predominantly made up from members of the long running popular Rhythm & Blues Ensemble ‘Zoot Serious and the Bellyful of Bop’
Bobcat Billy’s play a mix of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rockabilly. Well known for playing a good selection of classic rock n roll favourites, they also put their own twist on some more modern tunes.
They cover artistes as far and wide as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, The Rolling Stones, Imelda May, Led Zepplin, Elvis Costello, The Yard Birds and many more.
Above all the Bobcats are the best good rockin, good time dance band around!
Bobcat Billy’s Moonshine Mission line up…
Nick Haggart – Lead Vocals.
Nick Down – Lead & Rhythm Guitar.
Fergus Mulcahy – Trombone.
Ian Johnson – Double Bass / Electric Bass.
Jonathan Rowland – Drums.
Over the past decade Miriam Hogan has nurtured a deep interest and passion for Cajun music. She has made attention to detail of upmost importance when learning and playing this amazing music, not only with her authentic and powerful rhythm guitar style, but also with her compelling and emotive vocals which she delivers with clarity and passion. An eclectic mix of Cajun songs and tunes often overlooked and rarely heard in modern times.
In recent years Miriam has cut her teeth playing on the UK Cajun and Zydeco scene with her trio The Mirikools, and more recently the all-girl Cajun supergroup Joli Blon.
Hogan’s Heroes is a new venture which had its debut at the Gloucester Cajun & Zydeco festival 2018. This first performance was met with great enthusiasm by the watching and dancing crowd, so great was the response that there could be no doubt that the band should continue.
For the Big Weekend 2018 Hogan’s Heroes are delighted to announce a special guest star Drew Simon from Louisiana USA joining the band on the drums.
Hogan’s other Heroes for the Big Weekend include;
Murray Brailsford – Bass
Jock Tyldesly – Fiddle
Gavin Lewery – Accordion
Authentic, emotive, and delivered with excellence, traditional Cajun dance music at the top of its game!
The Flatville Aces
The Flatville Aces play traditional Cajun music from south-west Louisiana, a potent mix of fiddle and accordion, French singing and infectious dance rhythms, and feature their strongest line-up to date.
Fiddler and founder member Jock Tyldesley has played and toured at home and abroad with such US greats as Balfa Toujours and Sheryl Cormier, the “Queen of Cajun Music” as well as accompanying the late, legendary Eddie Lejeune on his last three UK tours.
Andrew Tyldesley provides the strong, rolling rhythm guitar back-up honed to perfection by touring with Eddie Lejeune and Sheryl Cormier.
Bass player and part-time fiddler Vera van Heeringen has also toured with Eddie Lejeune. The Flatville Aces are one of the few bands to feature the smooth, soaring twin fiddle sound.
Andy Watson completes the line-up on drums and percussion, a master of the Louisiana style and the drummer most called upon by UK and US bands to play Cajun and Zydeco music.
with special guest Drew Simon on Accordian
Come along and bring your dancing shoes!
The Zydeco Diamonds
The Zydeco Diamonds have a musical pedigree and collective history in Zydeco music which spans over 20 yrs.
Featuring top musicians, well respected as some of the finest exponents of Cajun and Zydeco music outside of Louisiana.
The Zydeco Diamonds are focussing on a more traditional old school style of Zydeco, moving away from the modern ‘hip hop influenced sounds which have become mainstream in Louisiana dance halls today, instead embracing the older unique sounds and irresistible grooves of a sometimes forgotten golden age of Zydeco, whilst adding their own fresh spice and flavour to the mix.
The band have been influenced and inspired by musicians such as Corey Ledet, Jeffery Broussard, Cedric Watson to name but a few. These young Louisiana musicians are very much looking back to their Creole heritage and roots, re-discovering and re-popularizing the musical style passed down from generations before, and adding a fresh contemporary flavour which is once again packing the dancehalls of Louisiana and beyond.
The Zydeco Diamonds deliver irresistible, funky, foot stomping high energy Zydeco dance music, pure and simple, loud and direct, from your head down to your dancing feet.
Accordion – Gavin Lewery
Drums – Andy Watson
Guitar – Kev Torne
Bass – Rob Hill
and special guest Harold Guillory on Rubboard
La La Rouge
La La Rouge is a stripped back, back porch Cajun band fronted by Cheryl and Ian McIlroy. Taking a side step away from their band Rough Chowder Cheryl and Ian play traditional songs from Louisiana, exploring harmonies and melodies whilst retaining their powerful vocal and playing style that y’all have come to expect.
Since attending the first Big Weekend in 2012, their first festival after forming Rough Chowder, and their adventures in Louisiana and the European Cajun and Zydeco scene Cheryl and Ian have discovered a deep respect of the origins of Cajun music and have endeavoured to recreate a smidgen of this through La La Rouge.
Zydeco Boogaloo play the unique sounds from the Golden age of Louisiana Creole music, when Clifton Chenier was king and Rockin Dopsie the crown prince of Zydeco, long before the Rock and Hip Hop influenced modern Zydeco sounds of today, back when Blues and early Rock n Roll styles were at the core of the music.
Good rockin Zydeco and Blues delivered with guts & groove by this band hailing from the North Shropshire Bayou’s.. Hell yeah!
Bakerfield are an acoustic duo from Staffordshire, formed in 2010 after spending many years paying their dues in various musical fields.
Loraine Baker (Vocals, Double Bass, Guitar) has forged a career as a formidable Double Bass player, in bands such as ‘The Bluebirds Cajun Band’, ‘Baker’s Fabulous Boys’ Bluegrass band , ‘Hackney Ramblers’ Cajun band, ‘Chank a Chank’ Cajun band, ‘The Southgators’ and ‘Shake the Roots’.
She has also earned a reputation as a fine vocalist with a singular voice that commands the attention of audiences everywhere, and she plays acoustic guitar to supplement the dynamic sound of this duo.
As well as recording with her own bands Loraine has also appeared on CD’s of other artists, most recently Folk artist Brian Peters’ Cd’s ‘Songs of Trial and Triumph’and ‘Gritstone Serenade’.
Pete Wakefield (Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica) was, for several years, a member of Bob Dylan tribute band ‘With Bob on Our Side’ and is currently Lead Vocalist and Guitarist with ‘Shake the Roots’.
A large chunk of ‘Bakerfield’s’ material consists of Pete’s original work, his song writing covering just about all areas from the surreal ‘Don’t Move, There’s a Penguin in the Bed’ to the topical ‘The Man on the Street Died Today’ to the touchingly confessional ‘Boy in the Bubble’.
Also included in their repertoire are songs from American Folk artists including Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Bob Dylan, Mark Erelli and Chuck Brodsky.
‘Bakerfield’ have quickly become known as an extremely entertaining duo, having their audiences reeling with laughter one minute and moved to tears the next; why not come along to their next gig; you won’t be disappointed!
The Swamp Rock DJ’s
Nigel Bewley (aka “Flying Home”) has been DJ-ing since 1972 and was bitten by Zydeco music in 1986 when hanging around the offices and studios of Island Records he met Buckwheat Zydeco, the label’s new signing. Nigel has a huge record collection of many different styles and when DJ-ing likes nothing better to make people dance to tunes he loves. Laissez les bons temps roulez – vous avez raison!
Carole Lateman (aka “Lil’ Queenie”) has always been a passionate fan of music and dance. In 1988, on her first visit to New Orleans, she discovered the exciting rhythms of Cajun and Zydeco music and dance. In 2004, together with Neil Papworth, she started London’s Swamp Rock Club, putting on regular dances with live Zydeco bands, and also DJ-ing with her husband, Nigel. Together, they have run stages at The Thames Festival, promoted gigs at The 100 Club and other London venues, and DJ-ed at numerous dances and private parties. As a dancer, she knows what music to play to get that dance floor jumping!