2012 – Self Released
This is quite an unusual album partly because for much of it the dominant accordion gives a Cajun feel to many of the songs, some of which are certainly not generically Cajun. The mix works
incredibly well simply because of the often astonishing command of so many diverse song styles within roots music, and yet everything comes together with the Revelers strong sense of individuality. Much of the album has an east coast street corner doo wop flavor without ever actually being doo wop. It is simply
the atmosphere that this tremendous band manage to produce on nearly every track, allied to that just as strong Cajun feel, something that is pretty much a given with their backgrounds and Blake Millers songwriting which has a dense, swampy feel! In many ways an eastern USA version of Los Lobos with their very own style and despite the variety of sounds the constant throughout the album is a strong swampiness.
The band consists of members of the tremendous Louisiana ‘Cajun’ bands, The Red Stick Ramblers and The Pine Leaf Boys, so it’s fairly obvious there was always going to be their natural Cajun music embedded in anything the Revelers did, but with so much more added, giving them a strong sense of experimentation even in some ways echoing the popular music of the 1950s. All band members contribute vocals as will be heard from their excellent lead singing and tremendous harmonies, with Daniel Coolik on fiddle and electric guitars, Glenn Fields, drums and vocals, Blake Miller plays accordion, fiddle and acoustic guitar with Chas Justus on electric and acoustic guitars and Eric Frey on bass. Also on this recording are David Egan on piano and Wurlitzer, Jay Miller, scruboard and newly added as a permanent member is Chris Miller on saxophones.
About half the songs are covers, but there are also four by Blake Miller, one by Daniel Coolik and another by Daniel Frey. It’s stating the obvious but the musicianship is of the highest order, as are the arrangements and the
vocals. As already stated the band career wildly from one generic offshoot to another but always with their very own sense of style. No doubt the fact that the lead instrument more often than not is the accordion helps to keep the
albums overall feel going, avoiding any discordancy inherent in the variety of styles. Album opener, the Blake
Miller penned Des Fois (Sometimes) gets us off to a rip roaring start with a strong driving accordion on an excellent Cajun song. This is followed by a tremendous version of If You Ain’t Got Love, a song that is virtually impossible to fit under any stylistic umbrella with it’s countryish rock/pop feel with harmonies that match the lead vocal in quality and yet this track also in some ways has a Cajun feel thanks in the main to the accordion but at the same time also includes excellent twangy guitars! Jewel Douglas’s Kidnapper is another tremendous performance on this album that is dominated by the sheer joy of playing these songs together, this time with a style that almost has a doo wop feel. Wang Wang Blues is propelled by a hard driving fiddle supported by accordion bass and drums on an excellent traditional instrumental that also includes a nice swampy bluesy guitar solo. Blues Take A Holiday seems to include at various stages a folk, blues, cajun feel that also has a little jazziness and this is how the album continues, with a variety of eclectic styles but always holding together as a hugely entertaining listening experience.
This is an album that virtually defines ‘good time music!’ It is so obvious from start to finish that everyone is having a great time playing and singing these songs. Buy it and you will have just as good a time as I am listening to it!