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Off the beaten path at French Quarter Fest: Hazy Ray and Camile Baudoin

Written by  Nick Garrison
Even though every act is worth checking out at French Quarter Fest (remember to check out our top picks), we’ve got two suggestions for those of you wanting to get off the beaten path, per se. If you’re boppin’ about, be sure to check out Hazy Ray and Camile Baudoin.
Just wrapping up their 2013 Spring Break tour, the New Orleans based band, Hazy Ray, is serving up a sound that you need to try. "We don't claim a genre. It's difficult to peg -- soul-rock. The rebirth of true Rhythm and Blues," said trombonist Mike Hayes. Whatever you want to label it, Hazy Ray will probably fit the bill, pairing a smooth singer/songwriter feel with some bluesy New Orleans-inspired horn lines.
Frontmen Joshua Ray, lead vocals and guitar, and Mike Hayes partnered together to pursue a dream. "We've all been so touched by music. We can only hope to do the same to others," said Hayes. Striving to tour nationally, the band released their first album on April 12, 2012, entitled Deep and Shallow, and have since taken off with over 150 shows.
The quintet is filled out by double-bassist Mitch Curtis, drummer Willie McCullen, and guitarist Ryan Noormohamed, showing off a wide range of dynamics and sensitivity. Jazz guitar chords provide a nice pad for both trombone and voice to solo on top of. Ray adds a rhythmic intensity to his vocals and Hayes backs him in harmony. Their use of the trombone is reminiscent of a brass brand, keeping the band's sound rooted in New Orleans while still blending with other genres.
It’s one thing to have a great sound, but to know how to sell it is another skill. These guys have a contagious energy about them; they command the stage and live in the moment. Hayes mentioned that a new album is in the works, and fans should look for the release of Flight, a free EP for this fall.
Keep an eye out for this band's bright future, and catch them at French Quarter Fest, Saturday, April, 13 from 3:00- 3:30 PM on the BMI Songwriter Stage.
For more information about Hazy Ray, visit their website and Facebook.

Former guitarist of the Radiators for 33 years, Camile Baudoin brings the bayou blues with him to French Quarter Fest this year. "I'm playing music in different configurations sometimes as 'Camile Baudoin and the Living Rumors' and sometimes as 'Camile Baudoin and Friends'," he said.
Baudoin's acoustic debut album, Old Bayou Blues, received great acclaim and the album was awarded the #14 spot in OffBeat Magazine’s Top 40 Louisiana Albums in 2011. In addition, Baudoin was also included in Offbeat's 2012 Best of the Beat Award nomination for multiple categories, including Best Folk/Country Artist, Best Folk/Country Album, Best Guitarist for Baudoin himself.
The current configuration of Baudoin’s band is somewhat different from the Radiators so-called "fish head music.” New Orleans' longest running and most successful rock group, the Radiators wrote over 300 originals and performed over 1000 covers. Their sound turned out a blend of traditional Louisiana music with heavy influences of rock and R&B.
That being said, we can expect the same quality of music in Baudoin's solo endeavors. Seasoned in performing high-energy shows, it’s probably refreshing for him to get back to his roots and play acoustically. The Living Rumors bring that down home, sitting-on-the-porch vibe that every local knows.
Be sure to catch them Friday, April 12 from 2:00-3:30 on Popeye's Esplanade in the Shade Stage.
For more information about Camile Baudoin, please visit his website.

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2013
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