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Flambeau featuring Tom Rigney

Flambeau featuring Tom Rigney - World Music
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1. HoundedListen Flambeau featuring Tom Rigney - Hounded
2. Chasing The DevilListen Flambeau featuring Tom Rigney - Chasing The Devil
3. Dancing AnnieListen Flambeau featuring Tom Rigney - Dancing Annie
  After fifteen years as the leader and electrifying violinist of The Sundogs, fiddler/composer Tom Rigney steps out on his own with a hot new band, Flambeau. The repertoire is original, eclectic, passionate, and filled with a musical and emotional intensity that will come as no surprise to followers of Rigney’s career.

Tom Rigney has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area roots music scene for over twenty-five years. The son of baseball great, Bill Rigney, Tom is a native of the Bay Area. His musical career began after he finished his graduate studies at Harvard University, where he received a Masters degree in Fine Arts.

Tom first rose to prominence in the music scene as the leader/fiddler of the legendary Bluegrass/Western Swing band, Back in the Saddle. He won a Bammie award in 1981 for the band’s debut recording. He also wrote their hit song, “Time and Again”, which rode the country music charts in the Bay Area for many weeks, no small achievement for an independent release.

After the demise of Back in the Saddle, Tom joined Queen Ida’s Bon Temps Zydeco Band and toured the world with the Queen in 1983 and 1984. It was at this time that he developed a love of South Louisiana dance music (Cajun, zydeco, and New Orleans second line grooves). These styles formed a major ingredient in the sound of his next band, The Sundogs. Teaming with songwriter Joe Paquin and slide guitarist T.J. Politzer, Tom and The Sundogs performed and recorded together for fifteen years. They released seven CD’s (and even an LP!), including two on the Rounder label. Their last recording, “Dancing Room Only”, spent eight weeks on the Americana Radio charts nationally. They toured extensively across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, performing at numerous major festivals and concerts and at more dances and nightclubs than anyone cares to remember. Their sound was a scorching blend of Cajun, blues, and roots Rock and Roll--original Americana music that struck a nerve with audiences all over the globe.

And now, with the broadening and deepening of his composing skills, and the refinement of his virtuoso technique on the violin, Tom Rigney steps out as the focal point of the new band, and as the creator of all its music. The strong Cajun/zydeco influence is still present, as are the irresistible dance grooves that have been his specialty for twenty years. But there is also a deepening of the emotional range of his music and a concentration on creating moving and memorable melodies in a wide range of styles--he has literally become a “singer” on the violin. The music bursts with the energy of the bayou one minute, turns passionate with a gypsy tune the next; it can raise the roof with a Celtic reel and then touch the heart with a beautiful waltz; it can drive deep into the heart of the Blues or evoke echoes of Eastern Europe or the coast of Spain.

In 1998, Tom released the critically-acclaimed “Chasing the Devil” on the Parhelion label. In 1999, with his new band, Flambeau, he released “Red Boots and Rice”. The year 2000 saw the long-awaited re-release of his first solo album, “Rigo”. In May, 2002, Tom released "Metamorphosis", an all-instrumental disc featuring ten new compositions as well as Tom's memorable arrangement of Kate Wolf's haunting "Brother Warrior". "Metamorphosis" is Tom's most ambitious and stylistically diverse CD yet. And in July, 2003, the new Flambeau CD, "Happy to be Here", hit the street. Unquestionably the party album of the summer, "Happy to be Here" is filled with infectious grooves, hot playing from all the members of Flambeau, and a level of energy and intensity only surpassed by their live show.

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Chasing the Devil, May 28, 2006
Reviewer: The Cajun Queen/Cajun' Cookin' Alaska St. Fair (Chugiak, AK) The Cajun Queen/Cajun' Cookin' Alaska St. Fair's Homepage
You are always a treat tom!

From the crew at Cajun' Cookin', the Alaska State Fair. :)
Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, 2006, May 31, 2006
Reviewer: Carol Cullens (Sacramento, CA)
Tom Rigney and Flambeau are a group of winners. They bring an audience to their feet every time I have ever seen them perform.

My first experience with Rigney and his artists was around 1998, at the Sacramento Heritage Festival. Called the Sundogs, that earlier group was so amazing that I was sold immediately.

Later I was thrilled to see that they were invted to the annual Jazz Jubilee, and I don't know who was from the Sundogs, but it's even better than I remember. Rigney is dynamic, energetic, and within seconds he has the audience in his hands. We hoot and holler, we marvel at Danny, who speaks fluent guitar, and Caroline who is a keyboardist extraordinaire. They are all professionals who rank with legends of popular music.

If you haven't seen them, give yourself an unforgettable treat. You will bless the day you mounted their bandwagon.

Flambeau in Penticton, September 13, 2006
Reviewer: Don Baraka (Menlo Park, CA) Don Baraka's Homepage
A delightful set on Sunday morning (Sep. 10, 2006) at the "Cotton Club." (Elks Hall) Although dancers prefer the up tempos, I was moved by Tom's great tone on the ballad "Oh Pauline."
Tom fronts the band and plays his amplified violin with joy, fire and grace. Caroline Dahl is impeccable on piano and accordion, Steve Parks unassumingly smooth as he anchors the bass. Ian Hoffman, drums, takes some solo space with obvious pleasure, and Doug Dayson alternates between rhythm and lead on the guitar, smooth on the exchange of 4s with Tom and Caroline.
You won't be disappointed if you get a chance to see Tom Rigney and Flambeau live, and be sure to add some of their CDs to your collection.
, February 17, 2007
Reviewer: Michael C., Vogel (142 Throckmorton Theatre, CA) Michael C., Vogel's Homepage
I have the pleasure of working at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA. We have many wonderful performers play at the theatre however every once in a while a performer comes along that just 'rocks the house." Tom is one of thos guys. The audience danced all night long to the strains of his amazing fiddle playing coupled with Caroline's piano work and Danny Caron on the electric guitar. Brent beat out the drums and Steve played a mean bass. For me the highlights of the evening included "House of the Rising Sun" and the close of set 2 the incomparable "Orange Blossom Special." It is a true testament to Tom that one of the "Red Hat Society" ladies drove all the way from Paso Robles to see him perform & that's 220 miles each way. If you have a chance to catch Tom in person or on cd or his new DVD (recorded at 142 Throckmorton) don't miss it! You will never forget it. My mother in-law visiting from Maine had a blast and will sing his praises upon her return to New England!

It is such a treat to see people having so much fun as they cajun danced all over the floor!

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