Tom Rigney and Flambeau

Off the Hook

In contrast to 2004’s A Blue Thing, which featured a handful of guests, this time around Bay Area violinist Tom Rigney fronts his own band, Flambeau. On hand are guitarists Danny Caron and Jerry Cortez, pianist Caroline Dahl and drummers Ian Hoffman and Jerry Sanchez, all of whom provide major support on this intriguing CD, whose music ranges from Cajun two-step and Zydeco (the title track) to country (a relaxed “I Won’t Be Sad Tonight”) and beyond. Seven of the 12 tracks are instrumentals, and two of them—both originals—really stand out: “Insomnia,” a haunting eight-bar blues in a minor key, and “Forbidden Fruit,” an uptempo gypsy-flavored number with some solid Hammond B-3 playing by Henry Salvia, have me punching the replay button more than once. “Cocodril Stomp” (another of the disc’s seven originals) is another driving instrumental that features a solid duet by Rigney and drummer Hoffman. Sanchez is no slouch in the percussion department, either, and his fatback drums liven up several tunes, among them “Let Me Be Your Fool Tonight.” Rigney really rips it up on D.L. Menard’s Cajun classic, “The Back Door,” with his inspired playing and singing. Highly recommended!