What is Beau Swank? It’s pretty swank, that’s what it is.
You take some old rock and rollers, marinade them in Louisiana culture for about 45 years, add some inspiration, a little talent and a pinch of bon chance, and you have a recipe for Beau Swank.
The Beau Swank vocalist is Pete Adams. Pete has been performing since the 1960s, when he and Ronnie Rauber were in the popular band The Roamin Togas. Pete has also performed as a semi-regular singer with the Harmon Drew Super Group, a popular horn group recognized by the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and comprised of several legendary musicians.
The lyrics and music were written by Bob Richardson, an architect by day who has been writing original music since the 1960s.
In the years following Hurricane Katrina, Bob was inspired to write a number of songs that celebrate the unique culture in South Louisiana between New Orleans and Lafayette. After performing and perfecting many of those songs with Ronnie (often under the band name "Dos Bobs"), Bob made plans to record a number of these songs at Radionic Studios in New Orleans.
Bob recruited some great musicians to join him in the studio. In addition to Bob on rhythm guitar and Ronnie on bass guitar, Zen Crook — a seasoned Nashville musician who has played with many music legends — played keyboards, fiddle, banjo, accordion and horns, Mike Loupe played horns and guitar, Buzzy Beano played guitar and bass guitar and Mike Barris played drums. Originally, Bob provided vocals, but later Pete came on board to provide lead vocals and enhance the lyrics.
The result is the first EP from Beau Swank entitled Gras Deux, a collection of four songs.
The first track, "The New New Orleans," was written by Bob immediately after Hurricane Katrina and describes the optimism shared by many New Orleanians that the city could come back stronger than ever.
The second track, "The Living is Easy," describes the love affair that many New Orleanians have with their city.
The third track, "Marigny Mambo," was inspired by Bob's son Conner, who loves the sections of town adjacent to the French Quarter including the Marigny and Bywater.
The final track, "Lafayette Waltz," was written for Bob's wife Connie and grows out of the time that Bob and Connie spent living together in Lafayette as newlyweds.
There are more songs to come, but we hope that you enjoy this first taste of South Louisiana music from Beau Swank.