Johnson County Community College
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Pine Leaf Boys
Pine Leaf Boys
Pine Leaf Boys to bring down-home Cajun sound to Polsky Theatre
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Wilson Savoy began playing boogie-woogie piano at the age of 10, already a fan of the rockabilly style of pianist Jerry Lee Lewis.
When Savoy reached his teens, his father gave him a homemade accordion built from the wood of a Sassafras tree that his grandfather had planted. Savoy took to the instrument, studying the styles of Amede Ardoin, Iry Lejeune and his father, Marc Savoy, considered a master himself.
Those early influences live on in The Pine Leaf Boys, a band from southwestern Louisiana. Savoy and his four fellow musicians will bring their swinging, down-home Cajun music to Johnson County Community College at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Carlsen Center's Polsky Theatre.
The show is virtually sold out. As of Feb. 2, only a few seats were still available. Tickets, which are $30, can be purchased through the college box office at 913-469-4445 or online at jccc.edu/TheSeries.
The Pine Leaf Boys, nominated four times for Grammys, consist of Savoy, Cajun accordion and vocals; Courtney Granger, fiddle and vocals; Jon Bertrand, guitars; Drew Simon, drums and vocals; and Thomas David, bass.
The five play the old-fashioned dance hall favorites and inject their youthful exuberance into some of the more obscure songs from the past masters of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music.
Savoy, born near Eunice, La., has played in many groups over the years, including the White Mule Boys and the Red Stick Ramblers. When not on the bandstand, he is a frequent visitor at jam sessions at his father's music store in Eunice or the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette, La., or is teaching at music camps all over the world.
Granger was born in Eunice, La., where he lives today. He produced his own solo CD in the mid 1990s, which landed him several awards. His repertoire of Cajun and classic country tunes, as well as his impeccable thoughtful fiddling and soulful singing, has made him one of the most sought-after Cajun fiddlers in the world.
Bertrand was raised in Jeff Davis Parish in Louisiana. Once he began playing guitar, he quickly became a rhythm machine with Dexter Ardoin, Cory McCauley and the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Bertrand is a rocker who is influenced by many groups.
Simon was born and raised in Lafayette. At 18, he started playing drums and singing in a local group called Acadien. Soon after he learned to play the accordion, guitar and bass and developed a passion for singing some of the forgotten Cajun classics from the likes of Belton Richard, Lawrence Walker and others.
David was born and raised in Lafayette. By the age of 8 he was playing drums alongside his father, Ken David, a bassist with Jambalaya Cajun Band. At 16, his father bought an upright bass and Thomas David fell in love with it. He quickly became a solid bass player in both Cajun and Zydeco music.