Tyler goes to the Grammys

by Patrick Flanagan

It's 12:30 p.m. in Los Angeles and I'm watching as Wayne Toups leans into the microphone and says ...

Wayne Toups and Tyler Thigpen during Sunday's Grammy awards.

[Editor's Note: Here's part one of local biologist Tyler Thigpen's report on her weekend at the Grammys.]

It's 12:30 p.m. in Los Angeles and I'm watching as Wayne Toups leans into the microphone and says, "Corey Ledet reminded me a little of Clifton Chenier playing up there." It is a great compliment and a magical moment amidst a jam that began with Wayne Toups, Corey Ledet, JB Adams, and Joel Savoy and ended with the aforementioned plus Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn), and three talented ladies singing "You Are My Sunshine."

I am here as a date for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony and, although the awards ceremony is tomorrow, I could leave a happy woman right now. I am not from Louisiana, so it is not because of my bias for Acadiana music; it is because the music born in Acadiana is just so damn good.

It is no surprise that Toups, Steve Riley and Wilson Savoy of the band Courtbouillon (Valcour Records) and Ledet and Adams of Corey Ledet & his Zydeco Band are nominated, separately, for the Best Regional Roots Grammy award category. The list of award nominees - consisting of two Acadiana bands, a Navajo singer, two Hawaiian bands, and let's not forget the three category nominations for Hunter Hayes of Breaux Bridge - is proof that Cajun country produces world class, award-worthy music like no other. Past Acadiana nominees are also evidence that Lafayette and the surrounding communities are chock full of talented musicians - Grammy nominated or not.

The weekend is going to pass fast. We arrived Friday night at midnight and we will leave Sunday night at midnight. This evening consists of the Nominees Party potentially followed by a party hosted by The Coen Brothers and T-Bone Burnett (if we can get in). Tomorrow features a walk down the red carpet for the pre-telecast and telecasted Grammy award ceremony, which we will chase with the Grammy after-party. So, knowing what's to come, I might be selling myself short if I said I would be fine leaving now, but I have to admit that today's performances by Ledet, Adams, Toups, and Savoy left me looking forward to the upcoming Mardi Gras festivities featuring music from Acadiana's very own.