Inspired by the Louisiana town of the same name, Australian trio Opelousas serve up a spicy slice of Swamp blues. They are the combined force of smoky blues star Kerri Simpson, country rocker Alison Ferrier and original Collard Greens and Gravy drummer Anthony "Shorty" Shortte and 'Dear John' is their first single.
It features a roux of Ferrier's dirty stripped-back guitar, peppered with Simpson’s raw vocals and Shortte’s swamp-soaked percussion. "Can you feel it baby?"
Produced by the band and Australian guitar legend Jeff Lang, the resulting gumbo is a tasty treat for audiences. Written by the trio, ‘Dear John’ sees Opelousas break out of the belly of the blues as rock’n’roll runaways, while maintaining the swampy sound that sets them apart. Ferrier on co-writing with the band: "I'm happy to say that writing together proved to be a relaxed and easy process. We wrote and recorded 'Dear John' within a few days, keeping it fresh and spontaneous."
A red hot mix of swaggering vocals, wild wolf man drumming and smouldering guitar work, this piquant powerhouse of a trio added a special ingredient to their simmering sound - Lang. Recording 'Dear John' at his Enclave studio, he loved the band and song so much he offered to create a video clip. The result is a psychedelic blues-rock masterpiece of striking red, black and white shapes dancing behind the trio, a la The White Stripes' iconic 'Seven Nation Army' video.
Kerri Simpson has successfully traversed musical genres from gospel to country, dance and rock. Simpson’s vocal style is straight whiskey and she has played and collaborated with some of the world’s best, including Dr John, Keb Mo, Kylie Minogue and Chris Wilson. Her Confessin’ the Blues was nominated for an ARIA while Sun Gonna Shine remained in the Oz Roots charts for nine weeks, gaining her US airplay and appearances at festivals across Australia.
Alison Ferrier is a prolifc songwriter, talented guitarist and an active player in Melbourne’s vibrant music scene. She has delighted audiences at Port Fairy and Woodford Folk Festivals as well as numerous venues along the east coast. Her third studio album What She Knows is an evocative and emotive slice of folk, country, blues and rock 'n' roll and has established Ferrier as a force to be reckoned with.
Anthony Shortte is well known to blues lovers as the back beat powerhouse behind the original ARIA award winning Collard Greens and Gravy line-up. Shorty has toured nationally and in the US and is a regular with Dan Dinnen and the Houndlings. He has brought his down and dirty grooves along with his electro washboard to a new level with Opelousas.
'Dear John' is the first release from the group's forthcoming album Opelousas Baby out May 2019.
Album launch: Saturday 15th June - Spotted Mallard, Brunswick VIC | Tickets
"A joyous debut collaboration from three of Australia's highly respected musicians, Opelousas have whipped up a gumbo of stripped back raw blues, highly rhythmic & riff orientated, rollin' & tumblin' straight out of the swampy Mississippi Hill country, above the Delta. I just love the sound and material. Can't compare it with any other Aussie band I believe" - Helen Jennings, PBS 106.7FM