Blue Krewe returns to The Tugboat Grill & Pub in Steamboat tonight
January 21, 2011
Steamboat Springs — From the swamps of the bayou to the cool mountain air, the world of Cajun and zydeco roots music can feel light-years away. But there are options in Colorado for those hungry for the spicy taste of Louisiana music.
Blue Krewe is a group of Denverites with ties to the Deep South and its rich musical history. The band returns to The Tugboat Grill & Pub for the second time this weekend, playing at 9:30 p.m. today and Saturday. The shows cost $5 at the door.
Blue Krewe comprises Tony Trahan on guitar, Steve Sheldon on harmonica, Dan Shook on drums, Dave Lyons on bass, Paul Martin on scrub board and Nicole Rockett on backup vocals.
Explore Steamboat caught up with Trahan, originally of Lafayette, La., on Thursday.
Explore Steamboat: How did you end up in Denver after growing up in Lafayette?
Tony Trahan: I chased a woman, for one. Chased a girl and caught her. It was catch and release — well, that's how it turned out. I came up here in 1994, and before I left Louisiana I was playing with a lot of zydeco and Cajun bands.
I got a band started in Denver over the request for a friend having a pig roast. I got a group of guys, and we started practicing. This was in '95. We called ourselves the Blue Advisory Band.
The whole time, I was incorporating some of this music from my old band. They were like, "What is this? We want to hear Skynyrd!"
ES: How is it that you came to be a Cajun and zydeco roots band after playing classic rock?
TT: I decided, "You know what? I'm going to dump all the classic rock we were doing." I love it, and I grew up with it, but I wanted to put in my own influence and do what I want to do.
We started to play more zydeco music and blues and New Orleans funk. Louisiana is a kind of a melting pot of these different genres of music. My thought was to make this gumbo of music and present it to the people.
Since we don't have an accordion player, it's not the authentic zydeco that people might think of. We do it without the accordion, but the music and the power and the feeling and the "shake your butt" is still there.
ES: Is "Krewe" the Cajun spelling of "crew?"
TT: It means a group of revelers partying for Mardi Gras. And that's us; we're like a parade onstage. A nonstop, migrating float.
ES: What captured you about Cajun and zydeco that made you make it into your life's work?
TT: What makes zydeco and Cajun unique to me is that it's in my blood. I drink the water, I eat the food, I breathe the air, I've fished the waters. My relatives were in it. So why do I still do it now and not play rock and roll? Everybody plays rock and roll. We are an everything-Louisiana band encapsulated into something that's a bit original.
ES: What keeps you motivated to continue playing out even though you work 40 hours a week?
TT: We just love to play. And heck, we'd do it for free if it was up to me. I just like to play.
I tell people I play music for a living. But I work to pay bills. I play music because it gives me life. That's what I like to do. This is what we like to do. It keeps us young and vibrant and healthy. It's not my income, but it's a living.
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