“Waylon Thibodeaux is a master at his instrument! He is a true and authentic voice of South Louisiana. He genuinely embodies what the old folks in the old country used to call a real ‘Music-man’” ~
“It’s a mixture –it’s Cajun, but not too traditional, it’s Zydeco with a pinch of New Orleans’ sound, a small pinch of South Louisiana “Swamp Pop”, a taste of Country and a little Rock ‘n’ Roll that’s sure to get you on your feet and dancing.” – Waylon Thibodeaux
Out of the Bayou and off Bourbon Street, Louisianan musician Waylon Thibodeaux struts his rocking blues roots side with Here We Go Again, released on the famed Rabadash Records label headed by John Autin.
Here We Go Again is Waylon’s third album with Rabadash, and for a change, the native Louisianan wanted to explore his Blues side with some of his original songs. “I call it blues with a Cajun accent,” laughs label owner John Autin. It was recorded and produced by Autin at his studios in New Orleans with musical guests Johnny Sansone, Josh Garrett, and Autin on keys. John called on Benny Turner, brother of Freddie King, and other more Blues-based musicians to help flesh out the sound. “Waylon’s happy tenor voice, and fiddle playing doesn’t belie a down, and dirty blues feel, but I think in a way we have created something quite new and interesting and unequivocally “WAYLON.” Songs that talk about bad luck on “Smoke Signals,” personal decisions “Fail, Fail, Fail” and time sliding away, “Funny How Time Slips Away,” are all on Here We Go Again and the gumbo rue magic is in Waylon’s fiddle and tenor vocals. He is always working on expanding his sounds through guitar pedals to create different textures in his music. Everyone loves a steamboat whistle sound from a fiddler, right? His thoughts on “The Riverboat Song”: “I’ve seen the steamboats pass by the Riverwalk in New Orleans, and that whistle has always intrigued me. It’s a very loud, obnoxious sound, but it gets the job done to warn people of the passing of the steamboat.”
Waylon’s influences run wild like the Mississippi River from Cajun to Swamp Pop, blues to rock to country, but not many know he started as a drummer playing the old country music. Then one fateful night, when he was a kid, he saw Bob Wills on TV with fiddler Johnny Gimble, and down the road, the young Thibodeaux went; “I wish I’d had the chance to tell him how much he influenced me.” Then he started to dig around a little more, and he discovered Stephan Grappelli from Paris and Rufus Thibodeaux (no relation) of Neil Young’s band, then up to Nashville for some Conway Twitty then back to Pete Fountain in NOLA.
Waylon Thibodeaux (pronounced Thib-ah-doh) was born on the Bayou, down in Houma, LA, which is located about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. At the age of eight, he picked up the violin, and by 16, he was crowned Louisiana State Fiddling Champion. He spent decades (started at 13) on Bourbon Street playing in various bands along the famed avenue in the clubs. The only equivalent to this type of musical culture would be Lower Broadway in Nashville, TN, where top touring and session players are known to play the city’s honky-tonks.
Over the years, Waylon has played festivals and shows in Canada, France, and South America and is a member of Voice of The Wetlands All-Stars, a group of some of Louisiana’s best musicians, advocating awareness on the eroding wetlands that run along the state’s coastline. Members include Voice of The Wetlands founder Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, and Cyril Neville. During a show at the Democrat National Convention in Minnesota, Waylon sang with Randy Newman on his 1974 song, “Louisiana 1927,” that vividly recalls the great flood that hit the area, and that was a wow moment for him.
Having played New Orleans Jazz Fest, French Quarter Festival, and every other Louisiana Music Festival in between, they all seem to center around music and food, and Waylon has a gumbo recipe that is to die for. He has no formula on file, but he puts it all in an iron pot; “Start with a chocolate-colored rue, throw in the onions, peppers, and the sausage…” and he compares cooking gumbo with being in a band, “the lead singer is the sausage cause he’s such a ham!” he laughs.
When Waylon pulls out his white custom-made electric fiddle from Sal DiGerano out of Metairie LA, you know it’s time to hit the dance floor with Here We Go Again!