This was one of those shows I’d been looking forward to for quite a while. The first interview doubleheader of 2021, and I got to chat with a bona fide Zydeco star, and a pair of brothers I’d known and been a fan of for years, but had never before spoken with.
First up was Corey Ledet, a grammy-nominated Zydeco musician from South Louisiana. He had just released his 14th album, “Corey Ledet Zydeco”, the day prior, so the conversation was timely. His album is amazing. It’s upbeat and joyous. I’ve always felt an affinity towards Zydeco. As a rock fan, something about the genre always felt comfortable and familiar. Corey told me that rock and roll has always been a part of Zydeco.
More than most musicians, the music is truly part of his heritage. His grandfather, Buchanan Ledet, was quite literally the first Zydeco drummer, having played in Clifton Chenier’s band. So he became a student of all things Zydeco, and all things Creole. He’s been playing in bands since he was a kid, and has traveled and played all over the world.
The self-titled album was mostly conceived in the studio setting, which is why it sounds so live and immediate. Vocally, Corey reminds me of David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, or of Robert Cray. (Think of either’s version of “I Got Loaded”.) About three-quarters of the way in, Corey announces that since the pandemic started, out of an abundance of caution, he has to finish the record himself, without his band, and the engineer safely socially distanced on the other side of the studio. That breaking of the fourth wall serves as a marker of the times we live in, to future listeners. The album is a rocking, cheerful gift to help us get through these times.
This is Corey’s first album on what’s rapidly become one of my favorite record labels, Nouveau Electric, run by Louis Michot. So many great Louisiana musicians on that imprint, from a wide variety of genres, have been on my shows over the past cuople of years. And as Corey said, when teaming up with Louis, “I’m home now.” Indeed. More info at https://nouveauelectricrecords.limitedrun.com/products/687591-corey-ledet-zydeco and at http://coreyledet.com/
Later on, I got to meet The Braam Brothers–Tom and Scott Braam. I’ve been a fan of the Chicago-based group for over a decade. Gidget introduced me to Braam Brother Mike back in the day. You might say he was my “gateway Braam”. He sent me a Christmas song of theirs, “Sad Christmas”, which I played a lot on my radio show. After the holidays were over, he asked if I “want to hear the rest of their music?”. And I’ve been following them ever since.
The album we focused on in the chat is their next one, “Landscapes”, due out around Valentine’s Day or so. Tom and Scott both sing, write, and play guitar. They’re incredibly prolific, so a lot of songs were recorded, but only 12 made the album. It’s a 50/50 mix of each of their songs. The album is a quiet, slow scorcher. It burns intensely. It’s personal. It’s got some of its roots in folk, but make no mistake–these guys know their way around electric guitars, and it can rock hard at times. With musical influences such as Joe Strummer, John Lennon, and Neil Young, it all makes sense.
Tom and Scott are part of each other’s family “bubble”, so they spent a lot of time working on these songs together. This record was written before the global pandemic hit, but recorded after it started, so thematically, the quarantining really isn’t part of it. But they’re already working on their next album, even before this one is fully released, and that one will address the closed-down world we currently inhabit.
We had a rather silly, fun chat. I’ll be the first to admit, we rambled a bit, and I kind of encouraged it. I’d known them for so long, but only online, and now that I had the chance to talk with them, I really didn’t want it to end. Stay up to date with The Braam Brothers at https://www.facebook.com/Braambrothers.
Artist | Title | Album
Elton John | Grow Some Funk Of Your Own | Rock Of The Westies
R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner | I Hate People | Make It Be
Girls on Grass | Father Says Why | Girls on Grass
Echo and the Bunnymen | Make Us Blind | Siberia
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Kingdom Of Love (Soft Boys Cover) | My Colors Dark
The Corner Laughers | The Calculating Boy | Temescal Telegraph
Poplord | I’d Fall Down | Full Filled
Natalie Cortez & the Ultra Violets | She’s Better | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
Corey Ledet interview
Corey Ledet Zydeco | This Is All I Want | Corey Ledet Zydeco
Corey Ledet Zydeco | Buchanon Ledet Special | Corey Ledet Zydeco
Corey Ledet Zydeco | Mon Marche (I’m Walking) | Corey Ledet Zydeco
Bellygunner | Medicine | Machine Gun Built For Two
Handcuffs | Resurrection | Electroluv
KB | The Only Way Is Down | Single release
Michael Simmons | No More Girls | First Days of Summer
Hannah Judson | Parachute | Stingray
Jody Porter | Sunsick Moon | Waterways
Nolan Voide | World’s Greatest Lover | The Forever Endeavor
Rachel Taylor Brown | Up You | Run Tiny Human
Gail George | A Wonderful Life | Bloom
Eric Peter Schwartz | Roy Batty | Mustard On My Sexy Dress
Electric Light Orchestra | Sweet Talkin’ Woman | The Essential Electric Light Orchestra
Bikeride | Endless PCH | Summer Winners, Summer Losers
Braam Brothers interview
The Braam Brothers | Pretty Mouth | Landscapes
The Braam Brothers | Landscapes | Landscapes
The Braam Brothers | New Cut | Landscapes
Alpha Cat | Mona Lisa In A Comic Book | Thatched Roof Glass House
Two Dollar Pistols | Gettin’ Gone | You Ruined Everything
mylittlebrother | Responsibility | Howl
Petrified Max | Snowshoe | Charlie Drove North
Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | March To Home
Gretchen’s Wheel | shapeshifters | such open sky
The Amplifier Heads | Welcome To DeathWorld | Music For Abandoned Amusement Parks
Felsen | Greetings from the Ghost of Heavy Metal Rock and Roll | I Don’t Know How to Talk Anymore
Allyson Seconds and Anton Barbeau | Octagon | Bag of Kittens (2020 Reissue)
Krista D | Penny for your Thoughts | Look at me… I’m Krista D
Glen Laughlin | Play Dead | Single release
Tawny Thiele | Happy Together | The Fowl Tone Sampler
The Armoires | Alesandra 619 | Zibaldone
Bill Lloyd | I’ll Take It From Here | Don’t Kill The Messenger
Elk City | Ride The Slide | Everybody’s Insecure
The Brothers Steve | She | #1
Nirvana | Lounge Act | Nevermind
Sunshine Boys | In Between Time | Work and Love
Don Hawkins | So Much To Learn | Stutter Step