The Red Stick Ramblers were formed in Baton Rouge (“Red Stick,” en français) in 1999. It was there in Louisiana’s capital that the six original members met as they were variously living, working and attending school at and around Louisiana State University. They decided to form a band in the tradition of Louisiana’s western swing string bands such as the Hackberry Ramblers and to play a danceable and exciting combination of Cajun music, Western Swing, and 1930's gypsy jazz. It was agreed that the band's look should match the band's sound, thus the decision was made to wear suits and ties; their sharp attire pays visual homage to their musical forbears.
Their music (and look) proved immediately popular and inevitably spread from Baton Rouge to Lafayette and beyond. The Red Stick Ramblers would record their self-titled first album with Grammy award-winning studio engineer Tony Daigle in 2002. After garnering rave reviews and touring extensively, the band was signed by Memphis International Records. Their first release on the label, 2003's "Bring it on Down", brought their audience to an international level. They’ve been featured performers at Festivals Acadiens and Festival International de Louisiane as well as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Apart from festivals, they toured extensively playing concerts and clubs in the American South, the East Coast, Midwest, in France, French Canada.
In the year following the release of Bring it on Down, several changes were made to the band's lineup. Bass player Ricky Rees left to pursue his rockabilly dreams, and was replaced by Eric Frey of Clay, Alabama. Fiddler Joel Savoy moved to Canada with his spot going to Cajun, swing and jazz fiddle player Kevin Wimmer of Breaux Bridge, LA. Josh Caffery, the band's original mandolin player, left for the business world, and the band slimmed continued on as a five-piece.
The Red Stick's current configuration has allowed for musical exploration and experimentation beyond anything they have done before. Without abandoning the core Rambler sounds of Cajun music and Western Swing, the band has now embraced all genres of Louisiana roots music including blues, jazz, New Orleans-style swing, honky-tonk and zydeco.
In December of 2004, the band went into the studio to try to capture this new sound and approach. They recorded with producer Dirk Powell in St. Martinville, Louisiana. Powell added not only his insight and production skills, but also a few piano licks; his keyboard prowess is also heard on Loretta Lynn's Grammy-Award winning Van Lear Rose. Wilson Savoy, brother of Joel, the band’s original fiddler, also added his piano skills to several songs on the project. The resulting album is Right Key, Wrong Keyhole, their second release for Memphis International.
Right Key, Wrong Keyhole is incredibly broad in scope, yet cohesive in sound. It features four Rambler originals: Fiddler and lead vocalist Linzay Young contributed the Cajun waltz "La Valse de Chaoui", an elegant and poetic song destined to become a classic within the Cajun genre. “The Racoon Waltz” (en anglais) was inspired by a real life incident when the band’s larder was robbed by a roving raccoon as they were camping in New England. Guitarist Chas Justus contributed three songs: the prison ballad "It's Too Late", the classic-country styled "Closing Time Blues" and “Sentimental,” an auteur-style swing number.
|Release Date||Nov 23, 2015|
|Artist||The Red Stick Ramblers|
|Record Label||Memphis International Records|
|Number of Discs||1|
|Box Lot Quantity||30|