Radio air date: December 29, 2018
About This Episode
Terrance Simien is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish.
While in his teens, he taught himself to play accordion and formed his first band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, and began to play the regional zydeco club and church hall circuit. In the early 1980s, Simien was in his early 20’s and one of only two (Sam Brothers was the other) emerging zydeco artists leading a band and performing their indigenous zydeco roots music. This was a pivotal time in zydeco music history since the pioneers of the genre were aging and the music was in jeopardy of dying off without the critical presence of emerging artists continuing the traditions.
Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos. He has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, The Princess and the Frog set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as, The Big Easy, Exit To Eden and A Murder Of Crows.
Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the “Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco” performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia. The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.
In 2007, the Simiens helped establish a new Grammy voting category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.
 His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008. He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots music.
About Michael Perry
Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin.
Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015.
Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in Wyoming, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural Wisconsin, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds (currently recording their third album for Amble Down Records). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues.
Learn more about Michael and where to get his publications at www.sneezingcow.com.
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