Hot Times Festival
Almost immediately after launching into their first song, C.J. Chenier and The Red Hot Louisiana Band will have young and old up on their feet and cheering in unison. With a solo career dating back to 1987 and six albums under his belt, C.J. Chenier is widely regarded as one of Zydeco’s best singers, musicians and live performers. According to The Boston Globe, “C.J. Chenier attacks the accordion with the tension and drive of James Brown...creating contemporary, turbo-charged dance music.” Living Blues magazine named C.J. Chenier “the best living zydeco singer and accordionist,” and Billboard called him “the heir to the zydeco throne.” C.J.’s music has always embraced the traditions of his famous father, zydeco legend Clifton Chenier, but he continues to push the music to new levels. One week before C.J.’s 21st birthday in 1978, Clifton asked him to join The Red Hot Louisiana Band. In 1985, as the effects of diabetes began to take their toll on his father, C.J. (at Clifton’s request) picked up the accordion and started opening the shows. After Clifton’s death in 1987, C.J. inherited his dad’s accordion as well as The Red Hot Louisiana Band. When asked about his accordion playing, C.J. is quick to defer to his father, whom “nobody could ever touch,” as C.J. says. But others have formed their own opinions. According to Blues Revue, “Whether he and his band of red hots burn on rocking contemporarysongs or simmer on traditional country waltzes, C.J. Chenier is Zydeco’s torch bearer.”
Gaye Adegbalola, Blues Music Award winner (formerly called the W. C. Handy Award) and a founding member of Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women, plays guitar, harmonica and is a composer.
She has recorded 10 CDs on Alligator Records and has toured widely through-out the U.S. and internationally. Gaye has also released five CDs on her own Hot Toddy Music label: “A former Virginia State Teacher of the Year, Gaye is also in demand for workshops, lectures and motivational public speaking.