"THE GODFATHER OF FUN!"
RICHARD ALLEN AND THE LOUISIANA EXPERIENCE
"The Louisiana Experience" is a kickin, fire hot, Zydeco band and much more.... It's a night, an adventure, through the sounds of a "Louisiana Experience"! As a third-generation accordion player, born and raised in Lafayette, LA, I can assure you will hear “the real deal” with a serious kick....... 110%. Your business is OUR business!" EX0-TICA Productions, Royal Room Review. @RaLaExp!
Deep in southwest Louisiana, in the heart of the region called Acadia, French speaking people pass down a culture hundreds of years old, rich in music, dance, food, language and love and kinship among family and community. (cont.)
It is called “joie de vivre”, or the joy of life, the sounds and images of that Acadian tradition filled Richard Allen's world as a boy in Lafayette.
It was a childhood filled with the smell of cooking, spicy gumbo on the stove, cornbread stuffing in the oven, crawfish on to boil and okra frying, with mom presiding over the stove, laughing with the cousins crowding in the kitchen.
Richard loved to watch as everyone from grade school kids to grandparents got together in the yard and danced the twisting, swinging zydeco dance, boots scuffing out the insistent rhythm of the music on a warm summer night.
But what he loved the most was the music.
He remembers his great-grandmother and great uncle playing traditional songs on the accordion, singing in French and stomping their feet on the old wooden porch. Any gathering was a reason to play music and eventually everyone who could play an instrument gathered in a circle and joined in. Men and women with guitars, fiddles, accordions and scrub boards, sometimes more than a dozen at once, worked together in perfect rhythm while voices sang out in French above it all.
Richard grew up to become the third generation of his family to play that music, embarking on a lifelong journey to master the accordion.
Along the way he learned more about the music of his roots and the culture of his roots.
In reality, the music and the culture can't be pulled apart. Zydeco music is the song of the voices and music of three hundred years of people who came to South Louisiana seeking fortune or were driven there by fate.
It started out as Creole music, a blend of the music of French Acadians driven from their Canadian homes in the 1700s of the Creoles descended from French and Spanish settlers, of the Caribbean music of slaves and the gospel and blues of the rural south.
German farmers contributed the accordion, Irish immigrants the fiddle, and Zydeco was born. It first emerged among the Creole people in the 1920s, and they sang about love and the joys of daily life, about fishing and dancing and the work they did, reflecting the world in which they lived.
As Richard learned everything, he could about the music that would become his life, he incorporated all the styles of the music of the region, both Creole "la-la" and Zydeco, into his personal style of accordion.
As a young man, he immersed himself in the Zydeco scene in Lafayette, watching and playing music with some of the best Zydeco musicians in the world, including 2011 Grammy award winner Chubby Carrier.
Determined to refine his skills, he moved to Austin and then to Atlanta to complete his musical education. He formed his first band there, called Joie De Vivre, then returned to Lafayette and created two more bands; 503 Avenue C and Magic Pepper Groove.
Today, Richard lives in Seattle, where he is exploding on the music scene with his band Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience.
He might be a long way from Louisiana, but everywhere he plays, he takes his home with him. At his shows, Richard and his band take over the stage with their high-energy, kick-butt-and-takin'-names music while dancers fill the floor. As they play, they recreate that “joie de vivre” that is the Cajun way of life, where people eat, drink, sing along, and dance to the rhythms of Louisiana.
In September, Richard recorded his first Album "Now's the Time". It has been in rotation in major stations for over a year and has has received rave reviews!
A Night with Richard Allen is truly a Louisiana Experience! Bio by: Polly O'Keary
ARTIST'S RICHARD HAS PERFORMED WITH:
Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Cha's
Opening band for Pat Benatar
Conducted two National Tours:
Disney's Beauty and the Beast (5th Ave Seattle) and Damn Yankees starring Jerry Lewis
John Schneider-Music Man
Gavin McLeod – Singing In The Rain
Conductor, Scrooge the Musical (President George and Barbara Bush attending)
Conductor. The world premiere of "Zorro the Musical" @ the Wortham Center, Houston
Conductor, 42nd Street for 40,000 in attendance at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCTING EXPERIENCE:
1995-2001 Conductor, Theatre Under The Stars, Houston, Texas
2000-Musical Consultant, Walt Disney, Burbank, California
1996-1999 Conductor, Fifth Avenue Music Theatre, Seattle, Washington
1994-1995 Music Director/Conductor, Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin, Austin, Texas
1992-1994 Conductor, University Orchestra, Austin, Texas
1992-1994 Associate Conductor, University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, Austin, Texas
1992-1993 Assistant Conductor, University of Texas New Music Ensemble
1990-1993 Percussion, Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, Wooster, Ohio
1992-1998 Percussion, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana
1992 Conductor, Acadiana Community String Orchestra, Lafayette, LA
1992 Music Director, St. Thomas Moore High School, Lafayette, LA
1991 Associate Conductor, Louisiana State University Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1991 Assistant Conductor, Louisiana State University Percussion Ensemble, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
March 1997 Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, RI
June 1994 Austin Civic Orchestra, Austin, Texas
March 1993 University of Texas Percussion Ensemble, Austin
Nov.1990 Louisiana State University Percussion Ensemble, Baton Rouge, LA
Oct. 1990 LSU New Music Ensemble, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Now that I am settled in, I am ready to go! I have published in the photos an introduction letter as well as my solo piano repertoire. Feeling blessed and grateful to share with you all my love for piano.
Today, I am heading into Nashville to check out the sights and enjoy some good music!
Looking forward to networking with other talent!
Enjoy some great BBQ while I jam with local artists in Nashville! Show starts at 6:30 located at 3979 Bel Road, Hermitage, TN
9/16/2023 Richard Allen will make his Tennesse debut at the Historic "Storytellers" in TN.
Located a short drive west of Nashville on 1-40, this was the the place Johnny Cash used to escape from. Now The Storytellers concert venue in Bon Aqua, TN is a must stop for anyone who loves music and the Stories they tell.
Show starts at 6 pm.
Wel I did it. It took 5 long days from Washington State to the beautiful and green State of Tennessee. I feel like I'm at home. I must thank my friend Mia C. for her extraoidinary help with the move. To say it was exhausting is an understatement. Of course now I'm busy taking care of license plate, drivers license plate, titles, registrations etc. etc. etc. I arrived on September 1 in the PM. Had to unload in storage , etc. etc. OH and guess what, on Sept. 3 I totaled my car, it was my fault. Thank goodnesss I have my truck!!! So blessed. From all the unloading and loading my hands are destroyed. All my muscles in my hands instead of being loose are now very muscular. Not good for a musician. I find I'm having to bactrack on both the piano and accordion. So just get back to practicing is the remedy. Slow practice. Although I have no time as of yet to go to Nashville, I have yo chill and practice. I may have a a Gig at at Storytellers on the 15 of Sept. In terms of looking and networking, this hasn't occured as of yet. I believe by the next week I can begin networking throughout Nashville. I will get it jumping here 100%. Hopefully I can begin posting live videos here soon. I love you!!! Thank you for all your support. @RaLaExp
Be looking out for photos from Nashville, TN! I will be playing there soon! Be on the lookout for pictures, videos of my gigs in Nashville and my trip to the Music Capitol of the World!
RA - @RaLaExp
We will be alternating videos regularly, so, STAY TUNED! @RaLaExp
Just in! More CD's and they are ready to be sent out to you! Email me at:
Or go to:
paypal.me\ralaexp and order there - $15.00
Thank you for your support!
The big countdown begins! Nashville bound in a few days! Much preparation for such a move is underway as I type. Details are now becoming my focus as I research performing venues and recruiting great talent for my next group. For over a decade, I have been proud to honor the group's name, "Richard Allen and The Louisiana Experience. This name has hosted a great number of talented artist from the PNW. Great memories!
My thoughts are to shorten the name to "RALAEXP". Kinda a cool jingle to RES..PECT...
Stay tuned for more updates as the time gets closer! You will be enjoying the ride with me of over 2300 miles to my next destination. If you want to contact me:
Check out my ever growing YouTube channel: @RaLaExp - got some fun stuff growing for your view. Subscribe to my channel too!
My friends - Peace for now!
After performing in the U.S. and Internationally, The Louisiana Experience will now be taking its sounds to the music capitol of the world ~ Nashville, Tennesse, beginning September 1, 2023!
"The Godfather of Fun" is ready to introduce the Accordion with a Zydeco/New Orleans flavor to audiences on the East Coast.
Richard Allen and The Louisiana Experience
In the 8 years of establishing "The Louisiana Experience" Richard has brought the accordion and his Louisiana musical heritage to the NW in a way most had never heard. The band has played in most major venues around the US. In the beginning of transporting his music to the NW, the style of music " Zydeco" was oftentimes mispronounced much less listened to. I often heard the genre called ZYE-DECK-KO. So the journey's been interesting but challenging in a fantastic way. Through both education and an active performance schedule, Richard has brought the taste of Louisiana to the people of the US and the World. Through his formal education Richard was able to bring a total musical experience of Louisiana(Swing, Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Zydeco, Swamp Pop and Cajun etc..... In 2015, "The Louisiana Experience" performed in a 3 country European Tour, Paris, Ireland and Rome. This year we will also be playing in Fairbanks, Alaska. As an educator, I was able to bring the music of Louisiana to the "Top of the World"! Barrow, Alaska. No matter where the performance the common response is "Wow, I never heard the accordion played that way"? The second is "This is Happy music"! But mostly, people SMILE!
So it is with great pride that I have spread my love, my heart, my journey with the beautiful musical gift I was bestowed. Now more people can say Zydeco and more people DON'T say "I didn't know you can do thet with the accordion"?
I am so blessed. I am just beginning. Now's The Time!!!
While my wife Moe was having fun out at Lake Chelan yesterday I was at Doyle's Public House in Tacoma. Moe, you missed a good one! I danced more last night than I have in the past ten years. The ladies just wouldn't let me sit down. And wh...o's to blame? Why, Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience, of course! It was Zydeco at its finest...all night long. They started rockin' the place around 9:45 and the flames didn't go out until 1:15...and that was with zero breaks. Lead man Richard continues to impress with his passion for his art and Louisiana music. Listening to him last night I realized that he not only entertains but he educates as well. Each time I hear him I learn something new about the styling and traditions of his music. While bassist Jerry Johnson and drummer Don Montana laid down solid heart thumping rhythms Jeff's Ziontz guitar strings started to melt with his smokin' runs up and down the neck. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but believe me, the band was hot! A special treat was new band member Laurie Iam on scrubboard. This was her very first performance...EVER! Scrubboard, for the uninitiated, is an essential instrument for true Zydeco. Played properly it sounds like a rusty old socket ratchet, but it's the spice that helps give Zydeco its wonderful flavor. And she nailed it! So looking forward to going to the next gig...with Moe.
While my wife Moe was having fun out at Lake Chelan yesterday I was at Doyle's Public House in Tacoma. Moe, you missed a good one! I danced more last night than I have in the past ten years. The ladies just wouldn't let me sit down. And wh...o's to blame? Why, Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience, of course! It was Zydeco at its finest...all night long. They started rockin' the place around 9:45 and the flames didn't go out until 1:15...and that was with zero breaks. Lead man Richard continues to impress with his passion for his art and Louisiana music. Listening to him last night I realized that he not only entertains but he educates as well. Each time I hear him I learn something new about the styling and traditions of his music. While bassist Jerry Johnson and drummer Don Montana laid down solid heart thumping rhythms Jeff's Ziontz guitar strings started to melt with his smokin' runs up and down the neck. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but believe me, the band was hot! A special treat was new band member Laurie Iam on scrubboard. This was her very first performance...EVER! Scrubboard, for the uninitiated, is an essential instrument for true Zydeco. Played properly it sounds like a rusty old socket ratchet, but it's the spice that helps give Zydeco its wonderful flavor. And she nailed it! So looking forward to going to the next gig...
I have been searching for a scrubboard player that has the stage presence, carisma and natural ability as Laurie Iams. I am so excited she is part of the team! Can't wait for you to hear her!
I was fortunate to play with the incredible band of Curley Taylor on two nights. It was fun to get the feel with the local boys of my hometown.
Was fortunate to kick off the first Mardi Gras in Columbia. We marched a Parade and my Zydeco Trio played some Mardi Gras music for the occasion!
The Louisiana Experience has exploded since last year. We are playing festivals in Montana, Oregon and throughout Washington State. We've been getting the best responses from Audiences since the creation of the band. I have just recently finished interview for Mill Creek and Taste of Edmonds! We are so excited about the future of the band. Thanks to all of our fans! The future looks bright!
Eroc Apoe is a world class poet and instrumentalist. He has toures with many of the greats around the United States. The instrumentation for the ensemble is Bass Clasinet, Sax., Violin, Bass, Guitar Eric Apoe on vocals and guitar, The music is wonderful and very unique!
CD Now's the Time is still being played across the country. It is still in rotation throughout Louisiana. It has been played in Atlanta, London, Washington, California, Texas and other parts of the United States. Sales are still up and fans are still enjoying the music.
Winter Solstice Celebration!
Join these great artist and myself for a night of great music!
Join myself and my mentor Nathan Williams as we discuss live our roots and Zydeco!
Get your Zydeco shoes on. Check out some original tunes. We will get the party started for you!!!
Enjoy Richard playing everything from Elton John to Ray Charles at a fantastic Restaurant. Prohibition Gastropub! 7:30-9:30
CD RELEASE PARTY!! Come and celebrate the release of Richard Allen's new CD, "Now's the Time", on Halloween! At the New Orleans Creole Restaurant, 114 First Ave S, Seattle 98104. 8-11pm, no cover, under 21 welcome 'til 10pm. You'll hear everything from high-energy zydeco to swamp-pop grooves to a sweet Cajun waltz: the full Louisiana Experience. Richard will be selling and signing CDs, too! The restaurant features a scrumptious Creole/Cajun/Acadian dinner menu, from four kinds of jambalaya to Seafood Etouffee to the standard red beans and rice! No reservations needed for the party, but if you'd like dinner, please call 206-622-2563 for reservations. More details on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1424974167726362/ ~ Laissez les bon temps rouler! ~
Richard Allen will share the details of his upcoming CD Release and Halloween Party at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Pioneer Square. Listen on Monday, Oct 28, 2013 at 8:00 PM (Pacific time) on Mighty Mouth blues station and NWCZradio.com. Oogie knows how to spin the tunes, so be sure to catch the show!
From 6:00 am(central) on every hour "Now's the Time" will be the featured CD. You can stream it live.
"In listening to the tracks, each track has its own, original flavor! That is priceless!"
For Immediate Release
Sept 19, 2013
Contact: MindRadio Artists
Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience Release “Now’s the Time” on September 19, 2013
Recorded at Buttersounds Studios Rec Room in Seattle, WA, Richard Allen’s “Now’s the Time” captures the life-force of Louisiana’s Creole Culture. Allen, on piano accordion crosses boundaries of culture, musical genres, race, state lines and generations with his heart-pumping, soul-clenching, foot-stomping new music has just enough Pop/Swing to draw all generations to the traditional Creole-French boogie beats, without sacrificing the centuries old soulful cries of passionate lost love, declarations of devotion, as well as praise for the Louisiana Culture itself.
“Now’s the Time” is now available through www.thelouisianaexperience.com and Amazon.
Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience's fusion of Zydeco, Reggae, and Swing represents Louisiana culture in its best form. This is a great album of cultural importance, uniquely fresh in Allen's interpretation of such an amazing blend of musical styles.
Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience Release “Now’s the Time” on September 19, 2013
Recorded at Buttersounds Studios Rec Room in Seattle, WA, Richard Allen’s “Now’s the Time” captures the lifeforce of Louisiana’s Creole Culture. Allen, on piano accordion, crosses boundaries of culture, musical genres, race, state lines and generations with his heart-pumping, soul-clenching, foot-stomping new music has just enough Pop/Swing to draw all generations to the traditional Creole-French boogie beats, without sacrificing the centuries old soulful cries of passionate lost love, declarations of devotion, as well as praise for the Louisiana Culture itself.
Stay tuned for upcoming news about where to order your copy of "Now's the Time"
My CD has been in constant rotation throughout rotation up into the present!
Richard Allen, a native of Lafayette (Cajun French Culture), Louisiana, has been involved in music since the age of nine starting on drums at Broussard Elementary. In his senior year at Comeaux High School at the age of sixteen, Richard was one of two musicians chosen from the state to play in the McDonald's All American High School Band, where he performed as percussionist in Chicago at the Chicago Symphony Hall, New York, Phoenix and Pasadena.
After graduating, Richard attended LSU in Baton Rouge where he began work on his Bachelor's in Music Education. While at LSU, Richard performed as percussionist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Light Opera and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Richard was also featured as a soloist with the LSU Symphony Orchestra performing the Kurka Marimba Concerto.
It was also at LSU that Richard began pursuing his second passion, Orchestral Conducting. In 1990 at the age of twenty he began conducting the St. Aloysius Bell Choir, his first paying conducting job. In addition, he also conducted the LSU Percussion and Marimba Ensembles, the New Music Ensemble and the LSU Symphony Orchestra.In 1991, Richard was Music Director at St. Thomas Moore High School for a semester and then moved to Austin where he began work on his Master's Degree in Orchestral Conducting. While at UT, Richard studied with Dr. Timothy Muffitt, presently the conductor of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. At UT, Richard conducted the University Orchestra, UT Symphony Orchestra, the New Music Ensemble, Austin Civic Orchestra and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin.
In 1994, Richard earned his Master's degree in Music and the title of "Maestro" from UT. He began his doctoral studies in 1995 as well as an internship for Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. In that same year Richard conducted his first professional orchestra in a production of 42nd Street at the Music Hall in Houston. Since that performance, Richard has conducted Singin' in the Rain in Seattle and Houston, Music Man with John Schneider, My Fair Lady with Noel Harrison, Gigi with Gavin McLeod and the World Premiere of Zorro The Musical at the Wortham Center. He has also conducted performances of the national tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis. In 1999, Richard conducted a performance of Scrooge in Houston where President and Mrs. Bush were in attendance.
For the past three years Richard has been teaching and performing in different venues throughout the United States. He formed the first elementary school orchestra in Lafayette, which was the J.W. James Youth Orchestra and also began a string program, which consisted of over seventy-five students from Pk-5th grades. The elementary string orchestra performed for Governor Blanco. In 2006 Richard performed for Festival International 'Scale of Colors' for artist Thad Morgan.
At the present moment, Richard is a Certified Music Teacher in Washington State. He is also freelancing and occasionally performs with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Rainer Symphony and the Bellevue Philharmonic.
Richard Allen brought The Louisiana Experience of bayou rhythms to Seattle, WA to introduce his cultural heritage to the world, beginning with the West Coast. Richard's unique blend of Zydeco, Blues, Swing, Cajun Creole, and Pop music will get your toes tapping and your feet stomping, with his latest CD "Now's the Time" released in 2013.
"Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience know how to spice it up Louisiana style.....bring your dancing shoes so you can throw them in the corner.." Chubby Carrier, 2011 Grammy Award Winner
"There is only one way to hear a local artist play Zydeco, that's to go see Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience. If you want the real deal, the joy of Louisiana culture, go see Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience. Richard Allen brings the joy of Louisiana culture to the stage when he plays his brand of authentic down-home Zydeco Music. "
Kevin Sutton, Wired! band
Richard Allen plays at Doyle's Public House, 208 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
8pm: Listen in while you get your Thanksgiving feast ready! Janice Gage, nominated for Best DJ in 2013 by the WA Blues Society, will feature tunes from my new CD on her show, "The Blues Note with Janice." Take your computer into the kitchen while yoiu make the pies!
KSVR 90.1 FM/91.7 FM
5-8 pm: Come and listen to Richard Allen play the piano and sing original compositions, along with some favorite covers. Delicious appetizers, creative cocktails, and full dinners!
Prohibition Gastropub, 1414 Hewitt Ave. Everett, WA
Richard Allen is featured musical guest at The Madison.
7-9pm: Start your New Year's Eve early with a little night music by Richard Allen, along with "stiff drinks, cold brews & yummy eats" at the Yuppie Tavern! Original songs and some great covers, with vocals and piano.
12031 NE Totem Lake Way
Kirkland, WA 98034
Located in downtown Everett. Call for reservations
Paradise in Monroe!
7281 Westlake Sammish Pkwy. Redmond, WA
Special guest with Eric Apoe and They
More info to come!
Special guest with Eric Apoe and They
This is the Correct Date promise folks!
Check out the real deal from Lafayette, LA. 100% Zydeco!!
Doyle's-Tacoma-Rchard Allen and the Louisiana Experience
This is a night you dont want to miss! Let's do it!
Let's get this Zydeco party started!
Get your Zydeco on! Let's go!
5000 Rainier Ave. S Seattle WA
8-9:45pm Deseo Carmin
10pm-12am Richard Allen & The Lousiana Experience
1414 Hewitt Ave
1414 Hewitt Ave
Featuring Richard Allen, Grant Steele Fedis Gray
706 Opera Alley
1414 Hewitt Ave
1414 Hewitt Ave
Richard Allen & the Lousiana Experience
18444 Spruce St
Richard Allen & the Lousiana Ecperience
2121 N 30th St.
Richard Allen and The Louisiana Experience
800 164th St SE
Mill Creek, WA
39025 SE Alpha St
This was one of the best, if not the best Mardi Gras Party of the 9 years living here!!!
Bring your costumes we have the beads. Let's do this!
Its all about the love!
Always great people and Great Fun!
Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience
Mt. Vernon, WA
Whidbey Island, WA
827 Hector Conoly Rd.
Carencro, LA 70520
Grab your tickets here!
91 W State Roiute 108
I am very excited about starting a new venture in both Nashville and Memphis, TN. Just hang tight and I will update you on performances as soon as possible!
Thank you! I cannot wait to get started on this next venture!
My 1st professional debut in Tennessee. "Storytellers' used to be a place that Johnny Cash played music and was a retreat form the grind on the road. What an awesome place to play my first sounds to Audiences here. Show starts at 6:00 pm
I AM SO EXCITED---------------
Come out and have the BEST BBQ in TN while I jam out with some great local artists! Show starts at 6:30pm! I will be playing some Zydeco tunes with my accordion. See you there!