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Great Dance Events in Florida in the Month of November

Get your dance shoes laced up. We've got some great dance events coming up with the return of Tom Rigney and Flambeau to Clearwater Beach (and St. Petersburg's Paladium!), another zydeco dance at Vertigo in Clearwater this Tuesday, the Porchdogs playing at Ricky P’s and the Saturday Market in St. Pete, and another fabulous holiday Fais-Do-Do featuring a 7-member Cajun band Gumbo Limbo in mid-December.

New Cajun and zydeco dancing? Check out Greg Benusa's Beginning Zydeco Dance Lesson on the “C-Z Video” page.

Quick Tip: The "Spotlight" article in this newsletter will also appear as "The Story" at www.FloridaCajunZydeco.com. Find it easily as the second page link in the main navigation.

Remember, FloridaCajunZydeco.com is your source for Cajun and zydeco dances throughout Florida.

Sunday: Tab Benoit at Skipper’s (Tampa)

Tab Benoit at Skipper's Tonight

The opening act of Tab Benoit's show tonight at Skippers begins at 5 p.m.
A guitarist who himself progressed naturally from classic rock and country to the blues, Benoit holds the belief that the next generation of guitarists will likewise discover the style that motivated him to pursue a musical career. "The blues are the roots of all American music," he expressed to Billboard magazine's Steve Graybow. "As people grow older and form their own opinions, they go back to what's real--and the blues is as real as it gets. When you are young, you want everything to be make-believe, but as soon as you get older you want something more tangible." Opening act at 5 p.m. will be Delta Swamp Rats featuring Steve Arvey on his cigar box slide guitar and Ernie Locke with Tom Wait’s style vocals and harmonica. Skippers Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613.  Discover more information on this event at www.floridacajunzydeco.com.

Sunday: Gumbo Boogie at Ace's Lounge (Bradenton)

Gumbo Boogie tonight at Ace's

Sunday Nov. 9, 5-9 p.m. Dance to Gumbo Boogie, no cover charge. Non-smoking venue. Buffet open about 6 p.m. Tab Benoit serves as an inspiration to other aspiring  Ace's Lounge, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton, FL (941) 795-3886

Tuesday Nov 11: Zydeco Dance at Vertigo (Clearwater)

Dancers at Vertigo Zydeco Dance

This Tuesday is Veterans Day, and it's time to dance. 5:30-9 p.m. Zydeco dance at Vertigo (upstairs from Yard of Ale) at 2675 Ulmerton, Clearwater, FL 33762. This month I have brand new music from Bonsoir Catin, Brian Jack and The Zydeco Gamblers, Chris Ardoin and Nustep Zydeko, Feufollet, J. Paul Jr., Terry and The Zydeco Batboys, Terrance Simien, Bayou Brothers, Flambeau, and Selwyn Birchwood. Arrive early to take advantage of Happy Hour-priced drinks and food until 7 p.m. DJ Jim Hance takes requests.  Come on down! No cover charge, but please patronize the restaurant and bar. Find more information and a link to the Vertigo website at www.FloridaCajunZydeco.com.

Nov. 20: Tom Rigney & Flambeau at Palladium

Flambeau play at the Palladium on Nov. 20

8 p.m. Cajun fiddler Tom Rigney and Flambeau. The Palladium is located at  253 5th Ave N, St Petersburg, FL 33701. Phone (727) 822-3590. Buy your tickets online.

Nov. 21: Swing Dance at Suncoast Jazz Classic (Clearwater Beach)

Swing Dance at Suncoast Jazz Classic

Tampa Bay Lindy Exchange again partners with Suncoast Jazz Classic to offer a dance featuring five of the bands from Suncoast Jazz Classic in a separate ballroom. Called "Swing Dance at the Suncoast Jazz Classic", the five bands include Tom Rigney & Flambeau, The Midiri Brothers, Dave Bennett & The Memphis Boys, Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band, and Wally's Warehouse Waifs. Individual tickets to Swing Dance at Suncoast Jazz Classic are $25. The Friday Swing-Dance tickets are now on sale for TBLX/Jazz Classic at this link (scroll down to the 2nd table).
Bookmark www.floridacajunzydeco.com to have instant information on Florida dance events on your computer or smart phone.

Porchdogs Play Twice in St. Petersburg


Nov. 22: Porchdogs at Ricky P's

7-10 pm. Ricky P's Orleans Bistro, 1113 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL . Phone 727-821-4061 (This follows a Gumbo Cookoff which begins at 2 p.m. See www.floridacajunzydeco.com for details.)

Dec. 6: Porchdogs at Saturday Market

St. Pete’s Saturday Morning Market hosts more than 100 vendors. Shop everything from organic honey to freshly picked fruits and vegetables to baked goods. Artists offer colorful hand-woven baskets, pottery, jewelry and original clothing for sale, while live music and prepared food vendors add to the fun. It’s held at the Al Lang Field parking lot at the corner of First Avenue South and First Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from early October to late May. Stay in the know by checking www.floridacajunzydeco.com

Saturdays --- Nov. 15 and 22 --- Easy Street Trio at Zydeco Grille (Englewood, FL)

Easy Street

Easy Street (Mark Trichka, Lisa Brande and Mary Morella) present live Cajun/Zydeco/Roots music 7-9pm at Zydeco Grille, 8501 Placida Rd. Englewood, 941-828-1472. Note: Nov 22 special guest Betsy Dawn Williams of Slippery Sneakers on Rubboard. Easy Street will be playing most Saturdays from November through April at Zydeco Grille, with some exceptions. Check with the Grille or Easy Street website for month to month schedule. And keep up to date by checking www.floridacajunzydeco.com first!

First Annual Al Berard Music Festival

November 29 at Henry Guidry Memorial Park, Henderson, LA. Gates open at 10 a.m., with performances by Jambalaya with D.L. Menard, Jason Frey, Huval Family Band, Paul Daigle, Forest Huval, Nik-L-Beer Band, Al Berard Tribute with Basin Brothers, Roddie Romero & The Hub City All Stars, and finishing the late evening about 10:20 p.m. to past midnight will be Bonsoir, Catin. From 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. will be a jam session open to anyone who has ever been a student of Al or has played with Al. Proceeds will benefit the Al Berard Memorial Music Fund promoting Acadiana’s music culture by providing instruments, teachers and scholarships to students of all ages. Information at www.alberard.com.

Sat. Dec. 13: Fais-Do-Do at Davida and Peter’s (St. Pete)

Potluck Cajun house party to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice at 2421 First Street South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705. 7-8 p.m. Potluck --- share your holiday favorites. 8 to 11 p.m. dance to live Cajun music of Gumbo Limbo. $10 suggested donation to cover the cost of 7-member band. Information: Peter 727-403-4626 or Davida 727-479-2440.

Festival-O-Rama Now Lists 2015 Festivals


Check the “Festivals” page at www.floridacajunzydeco.com (either desktop or mobile versions) for a list of the major Cajun and zydeco festivals to the end of 2015. Most festivals do not have their final band lineups determined, but use this page for making your dance event plans. Festival-O-Rama will be updated throughout the year with additional information as it becomes available.

Spotlight on: Tom Rigney and Flambeau

Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney

San Francisco’s electrifying Cajun fiddler Tom Rigney and his veteran band Flambeau will be in the Tampa Bay area doing a half dozen performances starting at St. Petersburg’s Palladium on Thurs. Nov. 20, then Suncoast Jazz Classic Nov. 21 through 23, and the Tampa Bay Lindy Exchange “Swing Dance” on Friday Nov. 21.

Flambeau showcases Rigney’s passionate, virtuoso fiddling, his commanding stage presence, his range, depth, and originality as a composer, and of course, those notorious red boots. His bandmates are veterans of the great bands of Charles Brown, Queen Ida, Clifton Chenier, and others, and together they generate enough heat and energy to ignite a dance floor or lift an audience to its feet.

Flambeau specializes in fiery Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes. Their high energy live shows feature tight ensemble playing, deeply infectious grooves, and spectacular soloing. Most of the repertoire is composed by Rigney, but they also mix in a few classics from the Cajun/zydeco/New Orleans songbook. And if, along the way, you pick up a trace of Rigney’s Irish roots or a little swing and roots rock'n roll, it just makes the musical gumbo that much tastier. 

Rigney’s recent collaboration this year with BeauSoleil’s Michael Doucet, another fiddler of some stature in Louisiana, is represented in my playlist next Tuesday at Vertigo (see description above).

Rigney developed a love of South Louisiana music when he toured the world as part of Queen Ida’s Bon Temps Zydeco Band in 1983 and 1984. Since then, Louisiana musical stylings have been infused in his compositions with The Sundogs (which recorded seven albums and performed for fifteen years) and with current band, Flambeau, formed in 1999.

I rather like reviewer Franky Brunee’s description of a Flambeau performance: “Even at the end of a rich festival, fatigue had not a shred of a chance to strike because the whirlwind fiddle player Tom Rigney with his band Flambeau lit the tent on fire! This was at times a textbook example of how Cajun can be. But the show was also quite varied. Rigney took us to the Mardi Gras, lingered with the  blues, offered an original version of "Iko Iko", a haunting version of "House Of The Rising Sun,” and a super festive “Jambalaya". A striking figure in this group was pianist Caroline Dahl, who we dare mention in the same breath with her colleagues Honey Piazza and Sue Palmer. Fearlessly stylish she wound the enthusiastic spectators around her finger. It was a beautiful finish to the festival!"

If you’re looking for some spectacular fiddling and a gumbo of great dance music, and I am sure you are, check out Tom Rigney and Flambeau in St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach.

Here are links to those events:
November 20 in St. Petersburg at Palladium, tickets online @$18. Website.

November 21 at Tampa Bay Lindy Exchange “Swing Dance” at Marriott Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, featuring five bands including Flambeau, tickets online @$25. Website

November 21 through 23 at Suncoast Jazz Classic at Sheraton Sand Key, Clearwater Beach. Website.  

Cajun Humor

Boudreaux had received a summons to appear for jury duty. The judge was doing his preliminary interview of the prospective jurors, and asked them, "Is there any reason any of you could not serve as a juror in this case?" Boudreaux raised his hand and when the judge acknowledged him said, "Mais, I can't serve, Judge. I don't wants to be away from my job dat long." The judge asked him, "Can't they do without you at work?" Boudreaux answered, "Yeh, Judge, dey can do widdout me, but I jus' don't wants dem to know it."

If you liked this one, check out other Boudreaux & Thibodeaux Jokes at this link.