Category Archives: Spotlight Series

Dwayne Dopsie Spotlight

Our season-long Spotlight Series continues this week with Dwayne Dopsie (pronounced DOOP-see), a fiery accordionist from Lafayette, La. Along with his band, the Zydeco Hellraisers, Dwayne will be bringing an upbeat blend of blues, rock, and traditional Zydeco music to the stage at Levitt AMP Santa Fe this Saturday.

We have several fascinating facts about Dwayne Dopsie for you, but first let’s address a question that may already be on your mind: what is Zydeco? Indigenous to Louisiana’s Creole communities, Zydeco is a centuries-old style of music characterized by the unique combination of accordion in the forefront and washboard anchoring the rhythm section. The latter is usually worn on a vest called a frottoir that leaves both hands free for rhythmic rubbing. Most Zydeco tunes are fast-paced and eminently danceable, with two-step beats and furious bursts of accordion driving them forward.

Now, let’s get to know a musician on the leading edge of the contemporary Zydeco scene: Dwayne Dopsie!

  • Dwayne Dopsie’s family is a bona-fide Zydeco dynasty. His father, Alton “Rockin’ Dopsie” Rubin, recorded with the likes of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, and contributed to bringing Zydeco to audiences outside of Louisiana for the first time in its history. Two of Dwayne’s brothers, Dopsie Jr. and Alton Jr., are also Zydeco pros — their band is called Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.
  • At the age of 19, Dwayne was crowned “America’s Hottest Accordionist” after winning a national competition hosted by the American Accordion Association. He founded his band, the Zydeco Hellraisers, the same year.
  • Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers scored a GRAMMY nomination in 2017 for their album Top of the Mountain. The album competed in the category of Best Regional Roots Album.
  • Dwayne is fluent in Louisiana Creole French, and often incorporates the dialect into his lyrics.
  • Despite his muscular physique, Dwayne claims he has never lifted weights. He instead attributes his bulging biceps to many years of accordion playing. The instrument weighs about 20 pounds and requires considerable effort to open and close.
  • Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers have taken their Zydeco sounds around the world. They’ve performed in China and the Baltic state of Georgia, to name a few.

Don’t miss your chance to see Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers live in concert this weekend at Levitt AMP Santa Fe. It’s a can’t-miss opportunity for fans of eclectic music to experience the energy of Zydeco firsthand.

foxiesspotlight

Look out for The Foxies, a four-piece alternative rock band whose shimmering, ultra-danceable indie-pop sound is guaranteed to get concertgoers on their feet tonight at Levitt AMP Earlham.

Based out of Nashville, Tenn., the group consists of charismatic front woman Julia Lauren Bullock, guitarist Jake Ohlbaum, bassist Kyle Talbot and drummer Rob Bodley. The band is based out of Nashville, Tenn., but their roots are nationwide—spanning the wide-open expanse of Arizona to the tangled urban jungle of New York City. Since the 2015 release of their first single, the sparkling yet hard-hitting “Floods”, the group has quickly gained recognition for their addictive sound. Their grungy guitars, sensual vocals and fat-bottomed beats are the perfect recipe for versatile indie music—the kind that’s just as welcome on a cross-country road trip as it is on a thumping dance floor.

Now, The Foxies are providing the soundtrack for their own nationwide tour, and they’ve already stopped at legendary music festivals like Bonnaroo, South by Southwest and Sundance. Their contagious sound has earned praise from Native Mag and Nashville’s Lightning 100 Radio, and even a spot for 2017’s “Wander In Lust” on the 63rd volume of NOW That’s What I Call Music. Their latest EP, Battery (2019), includes four tracks described by Bullock as the band’s most “raw and authentic” work to date.

Listen to The Foxie’s dreamy discography here, and if you’re in Earlham tonight, don’t miss out on their live performance at Levitt AMP!

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This week, we’re turning our Spotlight series to Tameca Jones, a Texas-based sensation who will be hitting the stage this Sunday (6/16) for the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series! You’ll also be able to catch Tameca next week for a Levitt AMP show in Green Bay (6/18), and later this summer at Levitt AMP sites in Springfield (7/4) and Trenton (8/8).

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This week the Spotlight Series continues with the genre-busting violin/vocalist duo, Sons of Mystro—who launch the 2019 Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series tonight with their lively mix of classical, reggae, hip-hop and more! To gear up for tonight’s show, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this eclectic power duo! Continue reading

Dragondeer Spotlight GraphicToday, we’re kicking off our 2019 Spotlight Series that will highlight the incredible talent gracing Levitt stages across the country. First up? Blues rock outfit Dragondeer, which is bringing their raw vocals, rambling harmonica solos and deep grooves to Ruby Hill Park, where they’ll kick off Levitt Pavilion Denver’s 2019 season! Levitt Denver concertgoers are in for a dynamite show that will have everyone swaying their hips and enjoying the nostalgia that comes along with warm summer nights.  Continue reading

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Tomorrow, Metalachi—the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band—brings their explosive fusion of mariachi and metal to the Levitt AMP Escondido stage!

Clad in costumes as vibrant and eccentric as their music, Metalachi uses a blistering combination of modern and traditional mariachi instrumentation to play iconic rock and metal anthems like you’ve never heard. With bright trumpets, soaring violins and driving guitars, they create passionate original covers of songs by hair-raising musical icons like Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses and Slayer. Born in Juárez, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, the half-brothers who formed Metalachi in 2008 found the group’s bold sound by drawing from their family’s rich Mexican musical heritage, and the plethora of genres that surrounded them growing up in Los Angeles. The band’s unlikely take on classic metal hits celebrates the common ground between metal and mariachi, highlighting the passion, danceable rhythms and high-octane energy that characterize both genres. Continue reading

SS Bette Smith

Few artists have had such a meteoric rise in the music industry as Bette Smith. Only a few years off her first singles and mixtapes, Smith already has the passion, drive and success that many new artists dream of. She is the next soul-songbird to represent New York and the latest to find her voice in the American deep South. Now, on the heels of her first-ever national tour, Smith is taking the stage at Levitt Shell Memphis tonight at 7 PM to perform her funky, jazzy soul that has everyone from California to Mississippi raving. Read on to learn more about what put Smith on the soul train, her connection to Ray Charles and why Memphis audiences have a spectacular show to look forward to.

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SS Quebe Sisters

Fiddling since the ages of seven, 10 and 12 years old, the Quebe Sisters are masters of their craft. The country singers and string-pluckers bring a fresh, family-centric look and sound to Americana, and have been doing so for nearly two decades now. Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe have managed to break down the barriers between country and jazz, with their western-style swing that draws audiences from all around the world. The sisters will be performing for the eighth time at Levitt Pavilion Arlington this coming Friday, not too far from their hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Read on to learn more about the Quebe Sisters and what makes them one of the most defining acts from the South.

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When it comes to embodying the classic, no-frills attitude of independent rock, Carbon Leaf is a living legend. Having experienced lineup changes, more than a dozen albums, record deals and thousands of shows across the country, their evergreen brand of folk, blues and celtic-infused rock has persevered through it all. Now, the band is celebrating its 25th anniversary at Levitt Pavilion Denver tonight at 6PM, alongside Andy Thomas’ Dust Heart, whose lead singer is the Associate Director of Levitt Denver, Andy Thomas himself! Read on to learn more about the legacy of Carbon Leaf’s “ether-electrified porch music” that’ll thrill audiences in Denver.

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