Thursday, May 6, 2010

RIP: Zydeco Master Roy Carrier

c/o Scott Barretta

Roy Carrier, whose music always included a heavy dose of blues, died yesterday in Opelousas after suffering a heart attack. He was 63, and had been suffering from cancer over the past year. An obituary from the local newspaper is here, and a complete biography is available at his website.

Born in 1947, Carrier came from a family of Creole musicians and was of the second generation of zydeco performers (the music had its first big in 1954 with Boozoo Chavis’ “Paper In My Shoe).” He was mentored by Clifton Chenier, and served as a mentor himself to a younger generation of musicians, including his son Chubby, a prominent performer in the zydeco scene.

He was the owner/operator since 1981 of the Offshore Lounge in his home of Lawtell, whose Thursday jam sessions provided an important venue for up-and-coming artists. The club, which I’ve had the fortune of visiting, derived its name from Roy’s work as a roughneck in the oil industry.

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