The late Dewey Balfa once said "A culture is like a tree, you have to water the roots, but you can't go cutting off the branches every time the tree tries to grow". Well, Racines (which means "roots" in French) both waters the roots and stretches outward. A collaborative project of three gentlemen who are all well-known Cajun musicians in their own right, Racines explores the varying musical traditions that call Southwest Louisiana home: Cajun music, Zydeco, blues and more. Their only self-titled cd release garnered a Grammy nomination in 2007.
Steve Riley, of Mamou Louisiana, is a widely acknowledged master of the Cajun accordion and its singularly powerful sound. There has never been an official competition among Cajun accordionists. Whenever a contest does arise, Steve Riley usually wins it, or judges it. Despite the lack of official metrics or quantifying factors, it remains true that most people think Steve is the best there is, and very few would argue the point. His playing is a standard by which timing, phrasing and ingenuity are measured on the royal instrument of South Louisiana. That, combined with his searing, emotional vocals, songwriting, soulful fiddling and onstage front man charisma have had an impactful influence on many younger musicians in south Louisiana.
Kevin Wimmer has been playing fiddle since the tender age of three. He performed frequently with Dewey Balfa and learned the essence of the tradition directly from him. Over the years he has performed most notably all over the globe with Preston Frank and the blues and swing inspired Red Stick Ramblers. Kevin brings a Creole influence to Racines, as exhibited by his unique fiddle repertoire and his powerful vocals.
Chris Stafford is a musician and producer/recording engineer based in Lafayette, LA. He is a four time grammy nominee, playing on albums with Feufollet, Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole, and Racines. As a session musician he has contributed to recording sessions with Dr. John and to the score of the to the film Baraboo by long time David Lynch collaborator, Mary Sweeney. Stafford has engineered many albums by a variety local artists and operates a recording studio in Lafayette, La. He is a founding member of the progressive Cajun band Feufollet with whom he has toured around the United States, France, Canada, Mexico, and England.