Monday, February 6, 2017

Crawfish Boil 2017 Bio: The Mighty Pelicans

            For the 2017 DGA Family and Friends Crawfish Boil, we’re proud to welcome back The Mighty Pelicans from Austin, Texas as one the bands to play this year. The Mighty Pelicans played the DGA crawfish boil last year and we liked them so much that we just had to invite them back again.

The Mighty Pelicans at the DGA Crawfish Boil 2016

            The four members of The Mighty Pelicans have deep roots in Louisiana. Kerry “Kingfish” Blackmon (drums and vocals) and Chuck Doyle, Louisiana natives, first met in college in the 1970s at LSU. In the 1980s, after both men moved to Austin, Texas, they began playing together in various blues, R&B, and zydeco bands. Together  with Kerry’s son, Michael "Mudbug" Blackmon and guitarist Johnny Blue, they formed The Mighty Pelicans. While all of the men originally played in a variety of bands, including a zydeco band, in 2011 they committed themselves to The Mighty Pelicans and have been playing in the Austin area ever since.     


Participants at last year’s boil took part in a second line, with the music provided by The Mighty Pelicans, in honor of Mary’s mother Shirley Kneale, who had recently passed away. In lieu of flowers or charitable donations to her honor her memory, Mary asked the band to play “The Second Line Song.” The tradition in New Orleans is that whenever a band plays “The Second Line Song” the audience forms a second line. Just what is a second line? It’s a New Orleans style of dance in which participants follow behind a band walking, spinning, or dancing around. The tradition most likely originated from the musical traditions of West African slaves brought to Louisiana. Over time, these traditions merged with the marching band traditions of white Americans, creating something uniquely New Orleans. Now second lines are a common part of most parades in New Orleans and are neighborhood events with participants singing, dancing, and interacting with members of their communities. They are a time to celebrate and be with loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

Second lining at the Crawfish Boil 

            As shown by their performance of "The Second Line Song," The Mighty Pelicans draw from the sounds of New Orleans, but include blues, R&B, cajun, and zydeco influences as well. They call it "New Orleans Swamp Rock." Whatever you want to call their music, we're thrilled to have The Mighty Pelicans back to the DGA Crawfish Boil for a second straight year. 

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