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Travis Matte and The Kingpins released ‘Let’s Party,’ their eighth album, in April. (Special to the American Press)

Travis Matte and The Kingpins released ‘Let’s Party,’ their eighth album, in April. (Special to the American Press)

Travis Matte and the Kingpins to rock Ryan Street tonight

Last Modified: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:01 PM

By Cliff Seiber / American Press

Lafayette band Travis Matte and the Kingpins will be the lead attraction at the second Downtown at Sundown performance Friday on Ryan Street between Division and Mill streets.

The festival will begin at 5:30 p.m. with food, art and vendors offering their wares. Ryan will be closed, but all cross streets will remain open.

Matte and the Kingpins will perform on the main stage in the 800 block of Ryan from 6:15 to 9 p.m.

The series will continue with Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble on May 31 and City Heat with Chester Daigle on June 7.

The band was organized in 2004 when Matte and drummer Bryson Simoneaux, who were members of another group, decided to branch out with their own band.

“We wanted to do something different,” Matte said. So they developed their own sound by adding rock and hip-hop elements to zydeco and Cajun music.

Other members of the complement are Gary Usie, bass guitar; Kevin “Turtle” Cormier, lead guitar; and Timmy Fruge, keyboard. Matte handles vocals and plays accordion and fiddle; Simoneaux sings background.

Rather than following the usual pattern of building a following with live performances and then cutting a CD, Travis Matte and the Zydeco Kingpins did the opposite — producing a CD to introduce themselves to a radio audience and then booking live gigs. The album, “Dis Ain’tcha Momma’s Zodico,” which featured the song “Bar Be Que And Drink A Few,” received a lot of airplay and paved the way for appearances.

“That seemed to work out,” Matte said. “Just last month we released ‘Let’s Party,’ our eighth album.”

In 2008 the band dropped “zydeco” from its name.

“We perform so many different types of music, we’re not just a zydeco band.”

In a few weeks Matte will release a full CD of traditional Cajun music, separate from the Kingpins, and the full ensemble will also have a new album of original work.

“I pretty much write our songs, and we have about 100 original songs that we play,” he said. “We know so many cover songs, we just change them up from program to program.”

This will be Travis Matte and the Kingpins’ second performance at Downtown at Sundown.

“The first time was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to another one.”

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