When New Orleans's venerable Radiators, generators of funky fishhead music for 33 1/3 years, quit zig-zagging for good last year, its members scattered to side projects that had long simmered on the back burner along with the gumbo. This weekend, Rads guitarist Camile Baudoin returns to town with a great new album, Old Bayou Blues, featuring mostly songs he played as a boy with his extended family out in the country along Bayou Lafourche. The superb trio Baudoin assembled for the project are hardly rumors, including guitarist David Doucet, whose regular gig is with premier Cajun band Beausoleil, and sweet-as-molasses fiddler Harry Hardin, whose alter-ego is a classical violinist. The mood is low-key, acoustic, and akin to an all-star back-porch pickin' session as the band rambles through country and New Orleans standards, the homesick title track (first recorded by his uncles the Dufrene Brothers in the '60s), plus some stylish original instrumentals and an "adult Cajun French nursery rhyme." But Baudoin left those guys down yonder, and the perhaps harder-rocking Rumors here will be Rads bassist Reggie Scanlon and guitarist Curt Obeda of Minnesota's own Butanes. After their Bayport gig Saturday, Baudoin and the Rumors will join a stellar krewe at Wilebski's for a Sunday afternoon/evening benefit for longtime local journalist, blogger, and NOLA music fanatic Karl Bremer, who has notably tackled the herculean task of correcting Michele Bachmann's encyclopedia of lies, and who is now battling pancreatic cancer. Dubbed Never Let Your Fire Go Out, after a Radiators' song, the show promises rare and intriguing combinations, including fiddler Peter Ostroushko sitting in with Baudoin and the Rumors; blues ace Tony Glover joining Baudoin, Obeda, and Scanlon as the Side Door Rockers; Paul Metsa and Cats Under the Stars with New Orleans's Willie West; plus the Butanes, and finally Gene Lafond and the Wild Unknown, whose name might suggest the event's wider possibilities.
Sat., March 24, 8 p.m., 2012