Zydeco Band Returns to Keller Williams Concert Series

Leroy Thomas & The Zydeco Roadrunners proved to be just as popular the second time around at the Keller Williams Concert at Kings Harbor last Friday night. The band from Lake Charles, LA, was presented by the Agents at Keller Williams Realty Northeast and sponsored by Shank Wealth Management.  Everyone enjoyed the concert so much that the band stayed on well past the 10 p.m. quitting time. The crowd just could not get enough of the band’s blend of Louisiana Zydeco, Cajun, blues, R&B and country music.

From the start, Leroy encouraged audience participation: “I hope your shoes are laced up,” he cautioned. “ ‘cause we are ready to roll.” He grabbed his accordion and sang: “I Want you to be my Girl” and the Zydeco anthem: “Why You Wanna Make Me Cry.” That got people up on their feet, so he slowed down the tempo for a slow dance to Sam Cook’s “Bring it on Home to Me.”

Leroy took a breather to introduce his band of Roadrunners: Nick Delafose, rub board; Raymond Bilbo, bass; Gerard St. Jullian Jr., drums; and James Compton, guitar. Delafose, wearing the instrument version of a washboard strapped to his chest, was not content to have the crowd just sit around  watching their performance. “I work Monday through Friday,” he said. “But this is Friday night and it’s time to party.” The kids in the crowd liked the sound of that and swarmed the stage with several of them giving their Halloween costumes a test drive.

Next, the band headed down a country road with some covers by Brooks & Dunn. When Leroy sang “Neon Moon,” he matched the Country twang of the original artists to the tee. Then the crowd started line dancing to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” When Leroy came to the refrain, he stopped singing the words and let the audience fill in the “boot scootin’ boogie.” When they were not loud enough for his liking, he commanded “Somebody scream!” and the crowd hooted and hollered back.

Keller Williams’ Master of Ceremonies Roland Duhon took to the stage during the band’s first break.
He introduced Pam Dickson, executive director of The Mission, and Mary Hubbard, chair of the Kingwood Women’s Club Holiday Marketplace. Dickson explained that The Mission helps needy families in a 687 square mile area encompassing Kingwood and East Montgomery County. She thanked the crowd for bringing canned goods for their Thanksgiving dinners and for purchasing raffle tickets that night to benefit The Mission. She pointed out a large movie poster from the latest installment of the Twilight Saga: “Breaking Dawn” and said that it would be auctioned off on Facebook as a fund-raiser for The Mission starting the week of Oct. 24.

Hubbard talked about the Holiday Marketplace on Oct. 25 at the Humble Civic Center, proceeds of which go to local charities including The Mission. Duhon previewed the upcoming Keller Williams concert lineup: Head to Head in November and Mambo Jazz Kings in February. He asked for suggestions for bands for 2012 concerts.

Duhon thanked Shank Wealth Management for sponsoring the band and introduced their Marketing Director Tammy Nigro. She said that the independent Asset Management firm is conducting free Health and Wealth Seminars in conjunction with companies that focus on personal health, such as My Fit Foods, Embody Fitness Center, Inspire Momentum, a holistic health and wellness expert, and a personal body trainer with Life Time Fitness.

When the band returned, it was time for some rhythm and blues with a little Zydeco mixed in. The band’s repertoire included B.B. King’s “Lucille,” Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya (On the Bayou),” and James Brown’s “Try Me.” Leroy also slipped in “Hathaway Louisiana” from his “Jewel of the Bayou” CD and sung a tune in Creole French.

After another short break, Leroy honored some “Happy Birthday” requests, but did it in Cajun style. Keeping things light hearted, he called all the kids in the crowd on stage to sing their “ABCs” and loaned the microphone to a little girl name Harlee to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

The band invited the adults back out on the dance floor by playing: “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Appropriately for the late night hour under the stars, the band finished the evening performing Wilson Pickett’s “The Midnight Hour.” Everyone on the dance floor grabbed a waist and formed a “people train” to dance to the music, while Leroy demanded once again: “Somebody scream!” He commanded the crowd to chant the refrain “I can’t wait,” getting louder and louder each time.

But that was not the last of his requests. As the song wore down, Leroy asked the crowd to continue to sing the “Oooh baby” and “Oooh yeah,” moving lower and lower until they were down on their knees. They were loving every minute of the late hour revelry and were reminded of what Leroy said earlier in the concert: “You just can’t stop the Zydeco!”