Carrier is undeniably "The World's Premier Zydeco Showman." He and his
Bayou Swamp Band take their highly infectious dance music to clubs,
theaters and festivals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe
more than 275 nights a year. The Chicago
Tribune called them "one
of the finer standard bearers of the classic, blues-based zydeco sound
among the new generation of Louisiana bands."
Chubby is well known for his show-stealing live performances that
leave his fans in a dancing frenzy. He always brings the party with him
wherever he goes, and the level of energy and excitement of those live
shows has made him one of the most sought-after zydeco acts in the
With his latest release on
Blind Pig, Who
Stole the Hot Sauce?, Carrier has done everything he can to
capture that electrifying sound. As Chubby says, "This is the closest
you can get to a live sound in the studio."
True to the tradition, the backbone of his music is the syncopated
Louisiana drumming, the polyrhythmic scraping of the washboard, and the
push-and-pull of the amplified accordion, accompanied by spontaneous
whooping and hollering. Carrier claims Clifton Chenier, the widely
acknowledged "King Of Zydeco", as his primary influence, but unlike most
traditional zydeco and Cajun acts, Carrier adds elements of blues, New
Orleans funk, gospel, soul and even do-wop to his spicy brew.
Carrier was born in 1967 in Lafayette, Louisiana into a family of
performers. His grandfather played zydeco. His father, Roy Carrier Sr.,
is a well-respected zydeco musician in his own right, and his cousins
had an act known as the Carrier Brothers. Chubby has played zydeco since
his public debut at the age of 12, propping his heavy accordion on a
stool so he could join his father on stage. Chubby started out by
playing drums with his dad, who worked on an oil rig, but he'd take over
the band and the accordion spot on the weeks when Roy Sr. was out to sea
on the rigs.
After asking his dad to teach him the accordion, Chubby was told, "If
I teach you accordion, I want you to play your own style. Let people
know who you are - Chubby Carrier." Besides learning accordion from his
dad, Chubby also was exposed to the blues on the records his father
loved to play, especially those by
B.B. King and
After fronting various zydeco bands through high school, Carrier put
down the accordion and picked up the drumsticks for a chance to go on
the road with the another rising Louisiana music star, Terrance Simien
and the Mallet Playboys. Carrier toured Europe, Africa and North America
with the Playboys for three years before unpacking his accordion to
start his own band in 1989. Soon thereafter he cut his first album,
entitled Go Zydeco Go.
Chubby's next recording, Boogie Woogie Zydeco, was
released on Flying Fish Records (now Rounder) in 1991.
Carrier's first album on
Blind Pig, Dance
All Night, was released in 1993. CMJ
New Music Report raved,
"Carrier's live sets are nothing less than phenomenal, and that energy
and love translate to each of Dance
All Night's 13 grooves. Carrier is a rare breed, a new zydeco
artist who's fully aware of tradition, but he's also unafraid to make a
few changes, giving the music room to grow and breathe and stay alive." CD
"Exhilarating dance-floor zydeco, this album teems with spirited
party-time music, as the band dashes, sprints, and zips through several
crowd-pleasing boogies." Furthermore, the recording received the Living
Blues Critics' Award as
the "Best Zydeco Album of the Year."
Chubby and his band hit the road big-time that year, and began
landing gigs at many prestigious festivals and events, including the New
Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, the
Houston International Festival, the St. Louis Blues & Heritage Festival,
and the Ultimate Rhythm & Blues Cruise.
Chubby Carrier is without question one of the most exciting young
purveyors of zydeco in the '90s, and Who
Stole the Hot Sauce? is
high-energy, zydeco party music at its best.