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Rob Prejean, Roger Cornwell and David Sylvest are original members of Cold Sweat. (Special to the American Press)

Rob Prejean, Roger Cornwell and David Sylvest are original members of Cold Sweat. (Special to the American Press)

Cold Sweat opens Downtown at Sundown Friday

Last Modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 2:00 PM

By Cliff Seiber / American Press

Now that Contraband Days has closed, Lake Charles will continue to celebrate food, music and fun with the 15th annual Downtown at Sundown festival 3-10 p.m. Friday on Ryan Street. The event repeats each Friday in May.

The venues will be the main stage in the 600 block of Ryan, between Mill and Division streets, two blocks north of Broad, and Luna’s Stage in the 700 block.

Headliner will be the Bayou Blend and cover band Cold Sweat, striking up at 6:15 p.m. on the main stage. The Luna’s Stage will be host to the Jennings High School Drum Line and Young Band Nation at 5:30 p.m.

Booths for entertainment, food and beverages, table-top galleries, merchandise vendors and activities for kids will line the two closed blocks for a street-fair atmosphere.

Cold Sweat, which has been playing since the 1980s, is known for its brass section, backed up by strings and rhythm, said trumpet player Rob Prejean, an original member. Also around since the beginning are Roger Cornwell, trombone and vocals, and David Sylvest, trumpet.

When the band was looking for a name, members noted a band called Cold Blood in California, and Blood, Sweat and Tears was popular on the national scene, so they did a mashup.

“We’re one of the few local bands that feature hot brass,” Prejean said.“We do a good solid Chicago (the band) hot horns sound.”

Other favorite artists are K.C. & the Sunshine Band, the Commodores, Van Morrison, James Brown, Billy Joel, Elton John, the Bee Gees and the Eagles.

The special trademark of Cold Sweat is the blend of the Southern sounds of Cajun, zydeco and swamp pop, Prejean said. The group doesn’t have a designated arranger. The guys just work out their arrangements together.

“You name a genre, and we’ll play it, but not too much country,” he said. “We don’t usually have a set list for a show. We just play the audience.”

Other band members are Micheal Dolan (guitar, vocals), Tripp Wamsley (bass, vocals), Wayne Dylan (keyboard, vocals) and Tim Dugas (drums, vocals).

The series will continue with Travis Matte & the Kingpins on May 24; Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble on May 31; and City Heat on June 7.

In the event of rain, the concerts will be in the Lake Charles Civic Center. Visitors are encouraged to take their lawn chairs, but no outside beverages or pets will be allowed on site.

If you go

• Admission is free.

Call 491-9159 or visit

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