William Kalec - Acadiana Profile
The 2011 Cajun/Zydeco Grammy winner for his album Zydeco Junkie is known for bringing a surplus of infectious energy to the stage every single evening and letting it trickle throughout the band and to those their hips and feet.
This musical son of Church Point is a third-generation zydeco performer, following a funky path blazed by his grandfather, Warren, and father, Roy. Carrier's cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier, are also accomplished musicians.
Prior to nabbing a Grammy, Carrier played outside of Louisiana more than half a year, delighting crowds in places as distant as Africa and Europe.
"This is a guy we've really welcomed home," Fuselier says. "Prior to him winning the Grammy, he probably played hundreds of dates on the road and maybe had one date at home. But now, the home gigs are starting to pile up, and that's a good thing - because he's been well-respected, been a true ambassador of Southwest Louisiana and never forgot where he came from. Like he likes to say, he spreads 'the zydeco gospel."
June 10, 2011 Molly Reid - The Times Picayune
Giving Zydeco Its Due
When zydeco star Chubby CArrier and the Bayou Swamp Band take the stage Sunday at the fifth annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival in the French Quarter, they might experience some flashbacks from the 2011 Grammy Awards in Frbruary, when they won their first award for best zydeco or Cajun music album.
They got love from the Recording Academy, which finally, after years of lobbying by artists, recognized the genre and created the category six years ago; and by appearing for the first time at the Cajun-Zydeco Festival, they'll be getting love from New Orleans, a city in which the genres have been long overshadowed by indigenous funk, jazz and brass music.
The festival is part of the third annual Vieux To Do, a collaborative trifecta of French Quarter festivals that also includes the French Market Creole Tomato Festival and the Louisiana Seafood Festival....
....As for Carrier, the festival probably won't beat his Grammy win, which was "unbelievable- the most spectacular show in the world," he said. However, a headlining spotlight fron Cajun country's kissing cousin won't be bad, either.
New Orleans "has definitely become more of a zydeco town- and it's overdue," Carrier said.
Herman Fuselier - Times of Acadiana
Chubby Carrier and band enjoy publicity after Grammy win
International recognition follows award
Think winning a Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album is not a big deal? Ask this year's winners, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band.
Since winning the Grammy on Sunday, Carrier and band have been featured in local print, radio and TV stories. With the headline "Tell the world Chubby Carrier is here," an editorial in the Opelousas Daily World said of the news, "We can all take pride in it, and it creates the economic opportunities that make it possible for Cajun and zydeco stars t earn their living creating great music."
Offbeat Magazine and WWL-TV in New Orleans reported Carrier's Grammy win, along with The Associated Press, Vietnam Television, Taiwan News, The Hindu (read by 4 million in India) and Sina.com, the largest Chinese-language infotainment web portal, based in Shanghai.
February 14, 2011 Herman Fuselier - The Daily Advertiser & The Daily World
Carrier wins Grammy
"Zydeco Junkie" earns area native industry applause
Chubby Carrier often talks about the 1970's, when, with tears in his eyes, he played drums in his father's zydeco band. Thick clouds of cigarette smoke in the South Louisiana dancehalls were too much for his 12-year-old eyes to bear.
On Sunday, Carrier was crying for a different reason. He shed tears of joy as he achieved a life-long dream - a Grammy award.
"I have so many feeling," said Carrier, 43, "I give my dad, Roy Carrier, all the props in the world for introducing me to this zydeco music.
"My mom and dad weren't here to see me accept this award. I know I'm going to see them in Heaven. I know they're looking down on me and they're proud of their son."
Carrier and his Bayou Swamp Band claimed the Best Zydeco and Cajun Music Album Grammy at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. The Grammy for zydeco and Cajun music was one of 98 issues in a pre-telecast cermony, which was streamed live on the Internet. Eleven major awards were issued later Sunday night during a prime time broadcast on CBS.
Cedric Watson, D.L. Menard, Feufollet and the Pine Leaf Boys were also nomninated.
Carrier and band won for zydeco Junkie, a 10-song CD published on this own label, Swampadellic Records. The disc is a mix of Carrier's trademark party songs, along with an accordion-flavored version of "Movin' On Up," the theme from "The Jeffersons" TV show.
Zydeco musicianas Geno Delafose and Jamie Bergeron performed as special guests on the CD.
Carrier becomes the fourth winner in the four-year-old zydeco/Cajun Grammy category, following in the footsteps of previous winners Terrance Simien, BeauSoleil and Buckwheat Zydeco. Carrier said those musicians and other pioneers made his Grammy victory possible.
"This is for Boozoo (Chavis), John Delafose, Clifton Chenier, Marcel Dugas, Fernest Arceneaux. These are the guys that went down the gravel road before there was a zydeco road. "Plus, I've been around for a long time. I've been spreading the zydeco gospel all over the world."
A Church Point native and resident of Duson, Carrier mainly performs outside of Louisiana, having played more than 150 road gigs annually for the past 22 years. Before starting his own band, Carrier traveled as a drummer with Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys.
Earl Sally, Carrier's rubboard player, was also a part of that early band. Simien said their Grammy is well deserved.
"That's my boys," said Simien, who is currently on tour in Minnesota.
"They paid their dues. They're turning on people, all over the world, to zydeco music."
"That's what these awards are all about - to reward people that make excellent recordings and to recognize them for paying their dues. It's a beautiful thing.
December 13, 2010 STEVEN K. LANDRY - CD critic still enjoys Grammy nomination
LAFAYETTE — Zydeco accordionist Chubby Carrier, of Church Point in Acadia Parish, is a perfectionist.
Carrier was listening to his Grammy-nominated CD “Zydeco Junkie” last week and — a year after recording the music — he said he finds rhythms he could have changed or even notes he missed in the 10-song mix.
As is often the case with many artists and musicians, Carrier is his own worst critic because no one else in the room could find the errors.
“Turn it off,” he said Thursday, waving off the CD with a laugh. “I’ve heard it enough.”
Carrier, 43, will hear much more of the CD until Feb. 13, when the Grammy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles.
He is competing against four other nominees in the best zydeco or Cajun music album category for the gramophone gold trophy.
Carrier and his Bayou Swamp Band got help on the record from special guests Jamie Bergeron and Geno Delafose.
But it is Carrier’s vocals and his Gino Baffelli piano accordion that dominate on such songs as “Zydeco Junkie;” the “The Jeffersons” sit-com theme, “Movin’ On Up;” and the Bad Company rock standard, “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
This year’s Grammy nomination is Carrier’s first after 22 years of touring and playing clubs across the United States, he said.
Carrier, whose wide, engaging smile belies his imposing physicality, said the recognition was much-needed and uplifting.
Carrier’s father, zydeco legend Roy Carrier, died in May, he said, and his mother died the Wednesday after the nomination announcements.
“My mom suffered with diabetes for about five years and it took a lot out of her,” Carrier said. “She got Alzheimer’s, too, so she didn’t know me at the end. Her eyesight left a few months ago. I’m trying to take it in stride and I need to talk about it.”
The zydeco/Cajun category is in its fourth year at the Grammys after being relegated to the folk category for decades.
December 02, 2010 Herman Fuselier - For The Daily Advertiser
This has been a year of sadness and celebration for Chubby Carrier. In May, Carrier watched lung cancer, a heart attack and a collection of illnesses claim his father, zydeco legend Roy Carrier.
Seven months later, Chubby Carrier is celebrating — his first Grammy nomination after 22 years of touring with his Bayou Swamp Band. His latest CD, "Zydeco Junkie," was among the official nominees for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album, which were announced Wednesday night.
"This is for my daddy," said Carrier, 43, a resident of Duson. "This is for Roy. I'm in awe right now.
"I thank God for blessing me with this day. I'm so excited I just want to run outside in that cold weather with my shoes off."
Other zydeco/Cajun nominees include "En Couleurs" by Feufollet, "Happy Go Lucky" by D. L. Menard, "Back Home" by the Pine Leaf Boys and Cedric Watson's "Creole Moon: Live at the Blue Moon Saloon." The Grammy nominations are the fourth for the Lafayette's Pine Leaf Boys, the third for Watson.
The winner will be announced at the 53rd Annual Grammys Awards, set for Feb. 13 at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. CBS will broadcast the ceremony live.
This is the fourth year for the zydeco/Cajun Grammy. In February, 2008, Lafayette's Terrance Simien, a zydeco accordionist for more than 25 years, was the first winner in the category.
The victory capped a seven-year effort by Simien and his wife and manager, Cynthia, to establish a Grammy category for this area's indigenous music.
Previously, zydeco and Cajun artists competed against Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and other major stars in Grammy's folk categories.
Victories were rare, although zydeco legends Queen Ida, Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Sidney enjoyed Grammy wins in the early 1980s.
A separate category allows zydeco and Cajun artists to compete against their peers, the same privilege afforded to Hawaiian, Native American, bluegrass and other folk styles. BeauSoleil and Buckwheat Zydeco, both popular touring bands based in Lafayette, claimed the zydeco/Cajun Grammy in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
With nine CDs under his belt, Carrier released "Zydeco Junkie," another collection of his trademark mix of upbeat, contemporary zydeco and accordion-flavored R&B. But Carrier also recorded two Rockin' Sidney originals, "Jalapeno Lena" with fellow zydeco star Geno Delafose, and "My Zydeco Shoes" with popular accordionist Jamie Bergeron.
A native of Church Point, Carrier has spent his career playing zydeco on the road. He has traveled as far as Alaska, Hawaii, North Africa and Europe, playing as many as 175 road dates a year.
Carrier says his strong touring schedule helped him grab his first Grammy nomination.
"I think the voting members of the Grammys recognize the zydeco ambassadors that have been out there," said Carrier. "They know who I am.
"They can look at the list and say 'Chubby Carrier put Louisiana and zydeco music on the map.' We need to pay recognition to this man."