Uniquely Southern, undeniable Cajun—for twenty-eight years the New Iberians have brought the rollickin’ music of Louisiana to Portland, and this weekend they’ll take the Mock Crest Tavern crowd down south when the take to our stage on Friday, November 30th.
The band, originally playing under the name Mumbo Gumbo, have cultivated the instantly recognizable sound of Deep South Cajun music since 1990. The name change came when founder and accordion player Evan Shlaes decided to honor his favorite Louisiana town New Iberia—the Queen City of the Bayou—and from then on the band has been regaling audiences across the Pacific Northwest and beyond with the songs of the South.
Zydeco music is a fast tempo music genre that was originally created at informal house dances. It’s dominated by the piano-style “button” accordion and the Americana folk sound of washboard or frottoir. Originally, the music reimagined classic waltzes, shuffles, two-steps, blues, rock and roll, and other dance music forms indicative of its early era but has grown to include even more modern genres like R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, hip hop, ska, rock, Afro-Caribbean and many other musical styles.
Today, the New Iberians have taken this truly American sound to the next level, with Shlaes on squeezebox and vocals, Paul Bassett on washboard, Linc McGrath on bass and vocals, Fred Ingram on drums, Clark Salisbury on electric guitar and Michael “Buck”Brummell on vocals, harmonica and sax. Their playlist stretches across a wide variety of genres that combine traditional Louisiana forms with Northwest Rock and Chicago Blues for a spicy, danceable gumbo they call “Stumptown Zydeco.”
Along with Mock Crest Tavern, the New Iberians regularly play at Portland festivals, including the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, the Portland Rose Festival, Bite of Oregon, and Bones and Brew. They have also opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bo Diddley and regularly tour up and down the West Coast, as well as venturing as far East as Chicago.
Come out to North Portland’s favorite live music venue Mock Crest Tavern this Friday, November 30that 9pm to take a trip down south with the New Iberians!