Michael Doucet (left) and Tom Rigney.
The Nashville Social Club has top talent ready to entertain Carson City on Friday night when acclaimed fiddle players Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney come to town. Backed by Rigney’s band Flambeau, the musicians will host a “Cajun night” filled with originals and traditional covers.
“This is a rare opportunity for people to see us together,” Rigney said. “It’s something we love to do, but because we are so busy, we don’t get the chance to get together often.”
The two have been friends for almost 40 years, but it wasn’t until eight or nine years ago that they played together for the first time. At a festival, Rigney invited Doucet on stage to play a couple of tunes.
“It was so exciting and people kind of went crazy,” Rigney said. “We looked at each other and said, ‘What was that?’”
That moment of spontaneity led to the two recording their first album, “Cajun Fandango” in 2016.
They just released their second album, “Roll On,” at the end of September. It features guests Marcia Ball (piano), Jon Cleary (piano and Wurlitzer), Cham Huval (accordion), John R. Burr (piano) and more, including members of Flambeau.
Rigney comes from the Bay area and Doucet from Louisiana. Doucet said he always loves coming to tour the west, but he hasn’t played in Carson City since the 1990s.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s a beautiful part of the country.”
Rigney said it’s been about 25 years since he played in the area and he’s looking forward to it.
“The audiences out in your neighborhood have always been good,” he said. “We’re looking forward to this new venue.”
Doucet is a two-time Grammy winner who specializes in Cajun music with his background, and he is known as the premier Cajun fiddle player of the past several decades.
Doucet compares his style to Rigney’s as Gulf Coast vs. West Coast. Rigney specializes in blues and rock and roll.
“We come at it from different directions,” Rigney said. “For some reason it just seems to work like crazy and we have a real good time playing together.”
Doucet said the live show they put on is “electricity.” The two fiddle players are accompanied by five-piece band with electric guitar, piano, bass and drums. Some of the songs are instrumentals while some have lyrics with both Rigney and Doucet singing. Rigney’s songs are in English while Doucet sings most of his in French.
Doucet and Rigney are songwriters and composers, so many of the songs are originals. Many of the other types of music they’ll play are songs from Cajun repertoire, New Orleans R&B, and blues. They also like to play several J.J. Cale songs, which they’ve included on their recordings.
Rigney describes the show as having very high energy, infectious grooves and the music is very danceable. But the one thing he enjoys more than anything is how spontaneous the show is.
“Michael and I will probably be winging it most of the night,” he said. “That’s what’s really exciting and fun for us.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Michael Doucet & Tom Rigney with Flambeau — Cajun night at the Nashville Social Club
WHEN: Show time is 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7
WHERE: Nashville Social Club — 1105 S Carson St., Carson City
MORE INFO: thenashvilleclub.com; http://tomrigney.com/home/