Tribute to Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., Downtown Alive! at Rock ‘n’ Bowl, Lafayette, March 15, 2019
A persistent light rain forced organizers to move the Downtown Alive! Tribute to Rockin’ Dopsie Sr. from Parc Sans Souci to Rock ‘n’ Bowl a few blocks away. I was prepared to shoot an early evening outside event but hadn’t anticipated photographing inside a large dance hall/bowling alley with limited overhead lighting. My biggest problem was my own fault: I mistakenly brought my 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon lens which I had been using to shoot Mardi Gras courirs instead of the 24-70 mm f2.8 lens, which is sharper and, of course, more suitable for low light. All of the shots in this album were taken with bounce-from-behind flash off of high ceilings with the flash mostly set at 1/4th power.

My photographic issues aside, it was a spectacular evening of incredible high energy zydeco bringing together Dwayne Dopsie and Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. on one stage along with their brothers to pay tribute to the rich zydeco musical legacy of their father, Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., who died in 1993. Dwayne Dopsie really burned it up on accordion with blazing fingers and bursts of propulsive energy that launched his zydeco into the stratosphere. Rubboard superstar Rockin’ Dopsie Jr.’s flamboyant musical style was on full display. He previewed an upcoming performance of “Beast of Burden” with the Rolling Stones that will take place at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Anthony Dopsie played keyboard and then switched to accordion, jamming with Dwayne. Tiger Dopsie played drums on the far side of the stage, but, with all of the activity at center stage, I didn’t manage to photograph him. The Zydeco Hellraisers performed at the start of the show and then some members switched out with the Dopsie brothers from the Zydeco Twisters. Paul “Lil’ Buck” Sinegal joined the band later in the show. I needed to head back to Eunice at about 8 p.m., so I missed the closing performances.

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to or
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