Fiddle Masters presented by Steve Riley Productions, Liberty Theater, May 19, 2018
Eleven South Louisiana fiddlers performed Cajun, jazz, swing, and old time American tunes during Fiddle Masters, a special program presented by Steve Riley Productions May 19, 2018, at the Liberty Theater. Steve Riley hosted the show and, in addition to fiddle, played guitar to accompany a number of the fiddlers.

The show opened with the ubiquitous Beau Thomas (he plays with many bands), followed by Anya Burgess with her husband, Richard, on guitar and vocals on “Traveler’s Blues.” Kelli Jones, joined by Feufollet band mate Chris Stafford, sang “Le commencement de la fin,” a song she composed the previous week. Chris Stafford teamed with Chris Segura for some twin fiddling. Other twin fiddling pairs included Chris Segura with Blake Miller, Kevin Wimmer with Steve Riley, and Kevin Wimmer with Paul Anastasio, who was also joined by jazz guitarist Albanie Falletta. Ellis Vanicor, born in 1929, sang “Don’t Bury Me,” the title cut on his band’s award-winning CD, and other songs with Steve Riley. Abe Manuel, still as lively on stage as I remember from many years ago, brought along his mother, Dottie, and his son, Moon. The show closed with everyone on stage to play “J’étais au bal,” concluding a spectacular evening of fiddling in many styles performed by some of the best musicians anywhere.

The show was sponsored by Doug Ashy Building Materials, KBON radio 101.1, The Best Stop Supermarket, Pure Country 106.7 radio, Lakeview Park and Beach, Ruddock’s Bakery, the Bayou Teche Tap Room, and Tom’s Fiddle and Bow.

For information on future shows produced by Steve Riley, go to steverileyproductions.com/.
All of the photos were taken from the balcony. Except for the wide shots of the finale, I used a 150-600 mm Sigma lens with the ISO typically at 6400. The painted images incorporated in the Liberty stage backdrop include a Mardi Gras dancing on horseback. I digitally removed that rather distracting background from several photos. In one shot of Steve Riley and Kevin Wimmer, I uploaded an unretouched version along with one which I digitally altered.

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mobile.
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