Grammy Award nominee headlining Levitt Thursday

Published 2:19 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Grammy nominee Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers will take the stage as the headlining act at the Levitt Lot Thursday night for the second week of the 10-week series.

Dopsie will bring high-energy zydeco that keeps you wanting more.

“You are going to get a lot of happy music, a lot of good times,” Dopsie explained. “The music itself is the kind of music that once it starts it’s hard for you to stay in one spot. It just puts you in a happy mood, and if you’ve got trouble, car trouble, insurance trouble, it just knocks it all out and releases it all. It just takes your mind and it just keeps people happy, and it’s something for everybody.”

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His style is grounded in Zydeco but incorporates musical elements from rock and roll, rhythm and blues, blues and reggae. Accompanying Dwayne are Brandon David on guitar and vocals, Dee Fleming on drums, Dion Pierre on bass, Paul Lafleur on washboard, and Tim McFatter on saxophone. Dwayne comes from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world.

“My father was one of the pioneers of this type of music from Lafayette, La.,” Dopsie said. “So, I grew up listening to him. He was a very great accordion player, and I always wanted to travel in his footsteps.”

Dopsie explained that his father traveled the world and did so many things in his life.

“I wanted to be a part of it and follow in his footsteps,” he said. “I picked it up at the age of 7 when I started playing accordion. I did it more because I wanted to be a part of the festivals and go to the festivals. At the time, my father was an accordion player, so I wanted to be a part of it.”

He said he is very excited to come to Middlesboro.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Middlesboro,” he said. “I’ve never been there, but what is so cool about it is that I’ve been having a lot of positive feedback from people that have seen us before and are excited to see us and excited to hear us. I think it’s going to be a great time for everybody.”

He said he is excited to interact with the community and give them a taste of real Louisiana music.

“It’s going to be a pleasure to be in the community, meet the people, and have the people enjoy our music — which is very authentic,” Dopsie exclaimed. “It’s down home.”

The group has a brand new CD that just came out that’s getting some really great reviews, and they are going to try for another Grammy nomination next year.

“We will have that and we will play a lot of great songs off of that,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to getting there and letting it all out.”

Middlesboro Main Street Director Emily Ayers is excited for the upcoming event on Thursday.

“It is week two and we are so excited,” said Ayers. “Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy good times with the community.”

Food vendors will be set up to serve food beginning at 6 p.m. New this year, a local artist will be featured each week with their work being displayed. This Thursday, photography from both Ray Welch and Harold Jerrell can be enjoyed by the community.