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The Radiators Bio

The Radiators were formed in New Orleans in 1978, the result of a casual afternoon jam session in keyboardist Ed Volker's garage. Volker, drummer Fran Bua, Jr.and guitarist Camile Baudoin were then members of the Rhapsodizers. Guitarist Dave Malone and bassist Reggie Scanlan were in another band, Roadapple, and the magic the 5 musicians conjured up that afternoon was just what they'd all been searching for. Later that same week they learned several original songs that they still play today.
They soon became an integral part of the re-vitalization of the New Orleans music scene that saw the growth of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the birth of the city's premier music club, Tipitina's. The band played with many legends of New Orleans music: Professor Longhair, Jessie Hill and Ernie K-Doe, as well as being Earl King's regular back-up band for many years. A favorite party band for college students throughout the eighties, The Radiators toured extensively all over the U.S., often playing 4 night stands at New York's musical mecca, The Lone Star Café. Signed by Epic Records in 1987, they released 3 studio albums, which received widespread radio play and featured such Rads' classics as "Like Dreamers Do", "Doctor Doctor", "Confidential" and "Suck The Head". Currently the band operates their own label, Radz Records, which has re- released 5 classic Rads' CDs, Heat Generation, Work Done On Premises, Bucket Of Fish, New Dark Ages and The Radiators. In addition in July 2008 the label released the critically acclaimed 30th Anniversary 2 -CD compilation Wild & Free and in May 2009 the band released The Lost Southlake Sessions, recorded in the early 90's and thought to have been lost to the floods and humidity of New Orleans.
Time has seasoned The Radiators, but far from slowing down they still keep up a brisk and comprehensive touring schedule playing close to 150 dates a year all over the country. Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Maceo Parker, David Bromberg and George Porter Jr. are just some of the luminaries who have sat in with the band through the years. In addition The Radiators have held down one of the coveted closing spots at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for 20+ years and....yes, you can still find onstage at Tips and all of the legendary New Orleans' clubs.

The Radiators were born during a transitional decade in the history of New Orleans music. The Meters, the premier funk band, had disbanded, the Neville Brothers formed, and in 1980 Professor Longhair, the father of New Orleans R&B and spiritual embodiment of Crescent City Soul had passed on. This decade would prove to be the fertile period of development when a unique blend of rhythms and sounds came together and "Fish Head" music was born. The Radiators, an extremely eclectic group of musicians, rely on a myriad of musical influences to create their own sound - "Fish Head Music". At a Radiators show it is not uncommon to hear blues, R&B, jazz, country, Zydeco, soul, swing, and even gospel filtering through their original New Orleans Rock N' Roll.

This group could only come from New Orleans. Since its earliest settlement, the city developed a rich musical heritage that gave birth to 20th century American music. Musicians from this region were the first to incorporate African rhythms with Western melody. Beginning with culture-blending jam sessions at Congo Square, this musical tableau unfurled in the hands of artists such as JellyRoll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Earl King, The Meters, Dr. John and others too numerous to mention. These acts provided great inspiration for the Radiators.

During their early years, the band members were able to watch and even play live with many of these local heroes. They combined these influences with the rising spirit of sixties rock and R&B to form a new, rhythm-intensive blend of rock and roll. After all, if you're going to the party, you might as well bring something new, right?

The Radiators are in their 26th year of providing some of the most intense live performances (over 3600 thus far!) of any band on the road today. Their intuitive grasp of each other's moves, coupled with a repertoire of nearly 1300 songs provides a basis for a fresh and spontaneous approach to their music.

 

 

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