by Monsieur Guillaume and His Zydeco Hepcats

Released 2018
Released 2018
A tribute to late Detroit bluesman Wailin' Dale. He sings and plays harp on both live and studio tracks recorded over a period of years with the band he founded in 2010. A mix of Zydeco standards and blues-infused originals.
Featuring his unmistakable lead vocals and his big harmonica sound on tracks recorded over a period of three years, this CD serves up the best of Wailin’ Dale in front of the Detroit Zydeco band that started with his vision. It’s our tribute and our thanks to Wailin’ Dale.
My own journey with the Zydeco Hepcats began in January of 2010 when I saw an ad on Craigslist, but the origins of the band go back to the moment of inspiration when Wailin’ Dale first realized that Detroit needed a Zydeco band. Besides being a master Motor City bluesman, Wailin’ Dale was a well-known Roots Scholar – a font of knowledge about blues and roots music of all types. Once he formed the idea of a Motor City Zydceo band, Wailin’ got his longtime friend Mike “Ziggy” Ziegeler on board as a drummer. Ziggy was also critical in placing the “accordion wanted” ad on Craigslist, as Wailin’s technological capabilities never extended much past the dial phone.
Once I answered the ad … met Wailin’ … and ran through a few Zydeco tunes with him and Ziggy, I was on board. Next, we recruited Frankie Lee, who was already playing bass with Wailin’ Dale in The Alligators. We even ordered a frottoir by mail from Louisiana, so Ziggy could double on rubboard.
Everyone liked the name Wailin’ Dale came up with, but he insisted that we couldn’t just be, “The Zydeco Hepcats.” “We have to be ‘somebody and His Zydeco Hepcats,’ that’s a real Zydeco band name,” he growled at us. As I was the accordion player, he insisted I had to be the front man, and had to come up with a better Zydeco nickname than “Mister Bill.” So, it’s been Monsieur Guillame & His Zydeco Hepcats ever since -- even though no one can pronounce the name, let alone spell it.
  The first three tracks on this CD are from a multi-track recording in Ziggy’s basement during May 2010. It features Wailin’ Dale on lead vocals, with accordion, bass, harmonica and drums -- plus Ziggy doubling on frottoir a couple times. The next track, Hey Mama, was recorded live to two-track in September 2010 at a bar gig. The band had grown to six pieces, including the four of us from the basement plus Sherman Oaks on lead guitar and Doc Watson on percussion and frottoir.
  The personnel are the same on tracks 5-10 which include some Wailin’ Dale favorites. They were recorded live to multi-track at Kelly’s Bar in Hamtramck in September 2011. The only exception is Yo-Yo String which features young Carlton Washington sitting in on lead guitar with Sherman Oaks on bass.
  The final three tracks were recorded in February 2013 by Josh Ford at his Sound Shop Studio in Mt. Clemens, MI with the full seven-piece band including Butch Morris on frottoir.
  On behalf of every musician you hear on this CD, I hope this music makes you happy. That’s all Wailin’ Dale would want. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

- Monsieur Guillaume