DANSER LE CIEL
Several years ago I performed with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in a program that included several of my better known songs. The reaction was overwhelming and that evening was the genesis of this project in which I explore my repertoire accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Boris Petrowski signed the arrangements. I asked Boris to treat the songs with elegance but also to explore the harmonic landscape without restraint. I am very proud of the result. Although the melodies are the same, Boris’ adventurous and daring approach has created what are in effect new songs.
I did not want to do only reprises, and the album includes two new songs : My Louisianne, an anthem inspired by the Bayou State, co-written by my friends Tommy Delhomme and Steve Camos. And Danser le ciel, the title song, dedicated to the memory of my mother, Marie-Pauline who passed at the age of 99 in January, 2021.
Gombo (Gumbo) is the most typical Louisiana dish. Comprised of a host of ingredients and derived from many traditions, gombo is the product of and a symbol for the multi-ethnic culture of Louisiana.
Gombo is Zachary Richard's 21st studio album in a career spanning 45 years. The songs run the gamut from the festive Louisiana influenced Zydeco Jump / Dans les grands chemins / Catherine, Catherine / Pop the Gator to the more reflective La ballade de l'exlcu / Au bal du Bataclan. A passionate student of Louisiana history, Zachary's songs are inspired by the often difficult and ever compelling history of the Bayou State : Manchac / Jena Blues. Devoted to the survival of the French language culture of North America, Zachary pays tribute to far flung French communities : La ballade du Irving Whale (Les Îles de la Madeleine) La ballade d'Émile Benoît (Newfoundland) La Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan). There are love songs: Sweet little darling of mine / Somebody calling and a song which examines the nature of romantic love : It might be love. There are two remarkable duets : Catherine, Catherine, written and performed with the remarkable Québec singer Robert Charlebois and the magnificent anthem of hope Fais briller ta lumière, performed with African super-star Angélique Kidjo.
Co-produced by New Orleans legend David Toraknowsky, Gombo features a host of fantastic musicians including guitarists Roddie Romero, Shane Theriot and Rick Haworth and the one and only Francis Covan on fiddle and accordion. A tribute to the multi-ethnic culture of Louisiana, Gombo is an emotional voyage into the passionate universe of one of North America's most brilliant songwriters.
J'AIME LA VIE
In July 2010, when he was 10 year old, my grandson Émile, announced to me that he wanted to record an album. I told him that to do so, we would have to write songs. I asked him what he liked, thinking that this was a good place to start.
“J’aime la vie,” he replied: I love life.
Recorded in Montréal by Marc Beaulieu. Mixed by Marc Beaulieu and Nicolas Petrovski, Studio Mixart, Montreal.
Le Fou is Zachary’s 20th album. Going back to his roots, this album is steeped in the sounds and rhythms of Louisana. The texture is acoustic folk. The songs simple yet rich in emotion.
The themes of resistance (Laisse le vent souffler - Let the storm wind blow), of separation (La chanson des migrateurs - The migrant’s song) and of identity (Orignal ou caribou - Moose or caribou) are still present in Zachary’s work, but this album has a unique Louisiana flavor as only Zachary Richard can prepare. Clif’s Zydeco, Sweet Sweet, Crevasse Crevasse, Bee de la manche pay tribute to the culture of Zachary’s bayou home.
The title song (Le Fou - The Crazy) was inspired by the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010. The first bird to be captured and cleaned in April of that year was a northern gannet, whose name in French is “Fou de Bassan” (Crazy from Bassan). The folly of which the song speaks is the folly of mankind in destroying the natural environment. It’s enough to make you crazy.
LAST KISS is the first English language album by Zachary Richard in 15 years. Co-produced by Zachary and the celebrated New Orleans pianist, David Torkanowsky, the album was recorded in Montreal, Paris, Brussels, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Lafayette, Louisiana.
Recordists include Don Murnaghan, David Farrell, and Nick Petrovski, who also mixed four songs on the album. The remaining songs were mixed by Mike Napolitano.
The album features a duet with Céline Dion of the Robbie Robertson classic “Acadian Driftwood”. This track was produced by Larry Klein and mixed by Dave Way.
LUMIÈRE DANS LE NOIR
Recorded in Paris, Montreal, New Orleans and Scott, Louisiana. Produced by Zachary Richard, Michel Pépin and David Torkanowsky. Sound recording by Ludovic Lanen, David Farrell, Michaël Néron, Michel Pépin and Don Murnaghan. Mixed by Mike Napolitanot.
This album is the fruit of several years of recording. The songs pay hommage to tenacity, resistance and love.
Recorded at the Studio La Frette, Paris, France, 1999. Produced by Olivier Bloch-Lainé. Eric Sauviat-guitar, Bill Dillon-guitar, Rick Haworth-guitar, Freddie Koella-guitar, Arnaud Dunoyer de Ségonzac-Hammond B-3, Laurent Vernerey-bass, Olivier Bloch-Lainé-acoustic guitar, Marc Lessard-drums, Silvano Michelino-percussions, Denis Benaroch-percussions, Jean Gobinet-trumpet, Pierre Mimran-saxophone, Damien Verhervé-trombone.
Although the rich textures of Cap Enragé are still much a part of this, Zachary Richard’s latest album, Coeur Fidèle is rythmically more complex and more deeply rooted in Louisiana, a Louisiana mysterious and brooding as well as exuberant. Contains English language translation booklet.
Recorded at the Studio La Frette, Paris, France, 1995. Produced by Joe Hammer. Eric Sauviat-guitar, Didier Alexandre-bass, Joe Hammer-drums, Bill Dillon-guitar, Freddie Koella-guitar, Michel Rivard-acoustic guitar, Matt Clifford-keyboards, Benoit Blue Boy-harmonica.
After ten years of writing and performing primarily in English, following the first Acadian World Congress of 1994, Zachary began to write again in French in ernest.
The result was his most successful album to date (double platinum). Highly evocative and rich in musical textures, Cap Enragé has become a classic. Contains English language translation booklet.
SNAKE BITE LOVE
Kingsway Studio, New Orleans, 1992. Produced by Bill Wray. Brian Stoltz-guitar, Freddie Koella-guitar, Darly Johnson-bass, Kim Bullard-keyboards, John Cascella-accordion, Denny Fongheiser-drums, Abe Laboriel-bass, Jim Wray-bass, Phil Shanale-keyboards, Dr. John-piano and Hammond B-3, Paulinho Da Costa-percussion, Rocking Dopcie Junior-rubboard, Jeffery Alexander-drums, background vocals by Billy Valentine, John Valentine, Rick Nelson, Art Neville, Alice Sanderson-Echols, Sandy Simmons, David Eisley, Billy Trudel, and featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
With an all star line up of players from Los Angeles and New Orleans, this is Zachary’s hardest rocking album.
WOMEN IN THE ROOM
Recorded at Boudreaux’s Studio in Scott, Louisiana, 1990. Produced by Jim Scott and Zachary Richard. Brian Stoltz-guitar, Didier Alexandre-bass, Tommy Shreve-guitar, Tommy Comeaux-mandoline, Joe Hammer-drums, Cruz Frugé-drums, Oran Guidry Jr.-bass, Kevin Barzas-acoustic guitar, Steve Berlin-saxophone, Rufus Thibodeaux-fiddle, Marshall Cyr-cowbell, with background vocals by Jimmy Buffet, T.K. Hulin, Lyn Collins and Rita Johnson.
With this album, Zachary breaks new ground. While still working within the various musical traditions of Louisiana, the songwriter has come to the fore.
MARDI GRAS MAMBO
Recorded at Boudreaux’s Studio in Scott, Louisiana, 1989. Produced by Zachary Richard. Tommy Shreve-guitar,Craig Légé-keyboards, Leon Medica-bass, Oran “Junior” Guidry-bass, Cruz Frugé-drums, Marshall Cyr-trumpet, Pat Breaux-saxophone, Sammy Harp, harmonica, Mohammed Bangoura-djembe, with the background vocals of Victoria McGee, Sarah Shelby and Brian Langlinais.
A celebration of carnival time, influenced by both the New Orleans and Cajun traditions.
ZACK'S BON TON
Recorded at Boudreaux’s Studio in Scott, Louisiana, June 1988. Produced by Zachary Richard.Tommy Shreve-guitar,Craig Légé-keyboards, Leon Medica-bass, Cruz Frugé-drums, Rufus Thibodeaux-fiddle, Pat Breaux-saxophone. On this album, Zachary goes back to his roots.
Zachary’s most Louisiana style album of them all, featuring the dance hall shuffles and Cajun sounds typical of the Pelican State.
Recorded at the Studio Continental, Paris, France, 1984. Produced by Dominic Blancfrancard and Zachary Richard. Basile Leroux-guitar, Craig Légé-keyboards, Didier Alexandre-bass, Joe Hammer-drums, Michel séguin-percussions, with background vocals by Jocelyne Bérouard, Carole Federicks, Maria Popkiewicz and Lisa Ruiz.
Zachary’s first Parisian sessions featuring the crème de la crème of the French music scene, with several songs co-written by Claude-Michel Schonberg.
Recorded at the Studio in the Country, Bogalusa, Louisiana, May 1981. Produced by Zachary Richard. Sonny Landreth-guitar, Pat Breaux-saxophone, Craig Légé-keyboards, Shelton Sonnier-bass, Mike Binet-drums.
This album is impregnated with the lazy languorous feel of a Louisiana summer day.
LIVE IN MONTREAL
Recorded at Le Club Montréal, Septembre 19 and 20, 1980. Produced by Zachary Richard. Sonny Landreth-guitar, Craig Légé-keyboards, Shelton Sonnier-bass, Mike Binet-drums, with the background vocals of Nina Dunn and Linda Niles.
To many fans, this album is one of Zachary’s best. Weaving through a host of Louisiana styles, the songs are infused with the energy and passion of Zachary’s live performance. Funk, Cajun, Zydeco, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, it’s all there.
Studio in the Country, Bogalusa, Louisiana, 1979. Produced by Zachary Richard. Bruce MacDonald-guitar, Dana Breaux-guitar, George Porter-bass, Denis Farmer-drums, Victor Palmer-saxophone, Ronnie Palmer-saxophone, Pat Breaux-saxophone, Mark Sanders-percussion, featuring the back ground vocals of Sister Geraldine Richard and the ladies of the Bogalusa Baptist choir.
After seeing Professor Longhair at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Zachary began to compose this album. Steeped in the New Orleans sound, Allons Danser is a celebration of the musical textures and rhythms of the City the Care Forgot.
Studio Tempo, Montréal, 1978. Bruce MacDonald-guitar, Dana Breaux-guitar, Ronny Domingue-bass, Kenneth Blevins-drums, Michel Séguin-percussion, Robert Stanley-guitar, Richard Beaudet-saxophone, Jeff Fisher-synthisizer, Michel Dion-bass, Denis Farmer-drums. Background vocals by Alma Fay Brooks, Laurie Niedzielski, Judi Richards, and Roy Harrington.
With this album, Zachary departed from the Louisiana sound. This album has an experimental quality, many of the songs over five minutes. Zachary’s first gold album.
Studio in the Country, Bogalusa, Louisiana, 1977. Produced by Pierre Lattès. Roy Harrington-bass, Michael Doucet-fiddle, Bruce MacDonald-guitar, Steve Broussard-guitar, Randy Barras-peddle steel guitar, Kenneth Blevins-drums, John Prados-drums, Michel Séguin-percussions.
Zachary’s most country-sounding album. Of particular interest is the version of “Ma Louisiane”, a rollicking hymn to Cajun identity.
BAYOU DES MYSTÈRES
Recorded at the Studio in the Country, Bogalusa, Louisiana, spring of 1976. Produced by Pierre Lattès Zachary’s first French language album. Kenneth Richard-mandoline, Roy Harrington-bass, Steve Broussard-guitar, Bonnie Guidry-violin, Michael Doucet-fiddle, Bessyl Duhon-fiddle, John Prados-drums, and Bill Usher-percussion.
Melding of traditional Cajun and modern rock styles. Of particular interest is a heart wrenching version of “Réveille”, inspired by the deportation of the Acadians, Zachary’s ancestors, from Nova Scotia in 1755.
Zachary’s first album, recorded at the Record Plant in New York City, September,1973 to March 1974. In the tumult following the creation of Warner, Elektra and Asylum Records (Zachary was the last artist to sign with Elektra before the merger), the album was never released. Nearly 30 years later, after a relentless search in the Elektra vaults by Thane Tierney of Rhino Records, the album finally saw the light of day.
Produced by Robert Zachary: Zachary Richard, acoustic guitar, piano, accordéon ; Johnny Scholl,guitar; John Seiger, bass; Mark « Moogy » Klingman, organ; Ralph Shuckett, fiddle; Steve Gadd, drums; Michael Doucet, acoustic guitar and background vocals; Kenneth Richard, acoustic guitar and background vocals; Leslie Donovan, background vocals.
Includes demo recordings featuring Zachary and Rick Tobey, electric guitar.