With their new CD release "Motown Mojo" Monsieur Guillaume & His Zydeco Hepcats have captured the essence of their signature sound. This unique group of long-time Detroit area players are all veterans of the Motor City music scene. With a lineup that includes accordion, frottoir (rub board), guitar, bass, drums, percussion and blues harp thier music fuses the laid-back party vibe of Southwest Louisiana with the gritty energy of Southeast Michigan. When they put it all together and get their musical mojo working, the result is an overdrive pulse they call the "Wall of Zydeco." Like a typical Hepcat show, their new CD is a mix of original tunes plus Zydeco and blues standards performed in their own unique style.
Featuring Monsieur Guillaume on lead vocal, this Hepcat original has all the ingredients of a Zydeco classic - including a fast, infectious beat that makes everybody want to dance. Go ahead and “wave your arms like a crawfish swimmin!”
You Got the Voodoo
Based on the classic Latin clave pattern – known affectionately to blues players as the “Bo Diddley Beat” – this Hepcat original again features Monsieur Guillaume on vocals with some help from Perez Morris who also gets busy on the frottoir. The clave beat, like Voodoo, originated in Africa and the Zydeco Hepcats get back to the roots on this one.
Mellow Down Easy
Frankie Lee is a staple of the Motor City music scene, known both for his rock steady work on the bass guitar and his bluesy voice. He shows off his vocal talents by taking the lead on this classic Little Walter tune while Wailin’ Dale pays homage to the master of the Mississippi saxphone with some deft work on the blues harp. The song closes with a conversation between Frankie and Erich Goebel as they trade vocal and guitar riffs while the rest of the Hepcats just Mellow Down Easy.
You Think I Don’t Care
Monsieur Guillaume is back on lead vocal as the band proves they can play both kinds of music – Zydeco AND Cajun. This Hepcat original is a classic Cajun waltz that tells the familiar story of man begging forgiveness from his Cherie (sweetheart) for being cooyon (foolish). The whole band waltzes off together at the end with accordion, harp and guitar trading “fours” into the sunset.
Midnight Plane to Memphis
This blues rock number features a driving groove with some deft work on the part of all three soloists and Monsieur Guillaume taking the lead vocal. The arrangement is punctuated by a couple of breakdowns that feature Ziggy, Doctor Dave and Butch getting down together on drums, congas and frottoir.
Paper in My Shoe
Generally considered to be the first Zydeco song ever recorded, this classic Boozoo Chavis tune from the mid 50's tells the story of a boy so poor he has to wear paper to cover the hole in his shoe. Wailin' Dale turns in a poignant and authentic performance on lead vocal with some help from Perez Morris on high harmony.
Burnin’ Flames Special
This infectious instrumental was written by Jude Taylor, but the Zydeco Hepcats have adopted it, adapted it and made it a crowd favorite at their live performances. "I'm surprised that more Zydeco bands don't cover this song," says Monsieur Guillaume, "it's a really fun groove to play over, and audiences love it."
I’m Coming Home
Monsieur Guillaume is back on lead vocal for this heart-touching ballad that Clifton Chenier wrote for his own mother. The story goes that she never heard him sing the song because she passed away while he was on tour.
All Night Long
This is another classic by the king of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. However this is an up-tempo party song with Wailin' Dale on lead vocals and the whole band backing him up.
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
In the 75 years since Sonny Boy Williamson first wrote and performed it, this song has been covered and reworked by dozens of blues, rock and even Zydeco bands. Erich Goebel belts out the lead vocal as well as delivering some blazing guitar work to give this one a hard rocking feel with a Zydeco vibe.
I’m Not Out
Monsieur Guillaume handles the lead vocal on this hard driving original that's about never giving up, no matter what. He's backed up by the whole band on the hook and everything comes together to create the signature Hepcat sound that gets audiences off their butts and on their feet.
Monsieur Guillaume (accordion) has been making music in Detroit since he was six and has played with and learned from Motown greats like Funk Brothers Benny "Papa Zita" Benjamin and Johnny "Pistol" Allen. Classically trained on the piano and self-taught on the accordion, he has written radio jingles, composed industrial film scores, worked as a studio musician, fronted his own groups and played every type of venue from a Friday night fish fry to a concert hall.
Wailin' Dale (blues harp) has performed around the Motor City and throughout the region with well-known blues units like the Alligators (which he co-founded) as well as his own band, the D.T.’s. As a front man, a side man, a teacher, or recording artist, Wailin Dale brings profound personal energy and a deep knowledge of roots music to every musical endeavor.
Erich Goebel (lead guitar) has the unique ability to turn his guitar becomes a WMD – a Weapon of Musical Delight. His blazing solos and scintillating rhythm riffs leave audiences stunned, speechless…and hungry for more. Whether leading his own blues trio, The Flying Crowbars or grooving with Monsieur Guillaume, this Hepcat always delivers a solid performance.
Frankie Lee (bass guitar) is a respected veteran Metro Detroit bass player whose solid chops and funky add a solid bottom to every jam. Frankie also has a sweet lead vocal sound that adds yet another spicy flavor to the musical jambalaya served up by the Zydeco Hepcats.
Mike "Ziggy" Ziegeler (drums) has been part of the blues and roots rock scene in Metro Detroit for decades as both a side man and band leader. With his driving rhythms on the drums he is the battery that charges the whole band.
Perez "Butch" Morris (frottoir) is a long time staple of the progressive music scene. As a vocalist and high-energy drummer he has been the driving force behind some of Detroit’s iconic punk and indie bands, like Robb Roy. Now, he’s bringing that same raw Motor City energy to the Zydeco Hepcats.
"Doctor" Dave Watson (congas and percussion) brings both the funk and the soul on congas and assorted hand percussion. If Dave can hit it, he can play it and he adds the finishing touch to the patented groove that the Hepcats call the "Wall of Zydeco."