Cajun Reflection takes center stage on Saturday

Doris Maricle

JENNINGS — Growing up in southeast Louisiana, Raylan “Rock” Allemand, was surrounded by French, country and bluegrass music.

“Growing up I remember listening to French music every Saturday afternoon and my mother was heavy on country and bluegrass music, so that was the music I grew up on,” Allemand said, adding that his mother played guitar and sang. “I’ve always liked music, but growing up my folks were never able to afford to buy me instruments.”

It wasn’t until his 30s before Allemand began playing music professionally after learning to play the bass and accordion.

Today, the 72-year-old Carencro native plays bass and background vocals for Cajun Reflection.

Tickets for the Cajun Reflection show at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 17 at the Strand Theater are available by calling Bon Ami Tours at 370-2512.

The group is originally a four-person band consisting of Haas Cormier (keyboards), Boogie Broussard (drummer), Brandon Degeyter (accordion and vocals) and Allemand. It has added Pat Richard and Sidney Janise to make up a six-piece band for its debut at the Strand Theatre.

“Myself, Brandon and Boogie have been playing together for about six years with another band,” Allemand said. “When it broke up we added Ms. Haas and formed Cajun Reflection.”

The group has been playing together for three-and-a-half years performing mostly at nightclubs, restaurants and other small venues in southeast and southwest Louisiana.

“We do a lot of Cajun, zydeco, Swamp Pop and classic country music,” Allemand said, adding that Cajun and Swamp Pop are his favorites. “But I like it all, as long as it’s anything that sounds like music. I don’t care for rap.”

Merle Haggard, Belton Richard, Tommy McLain and Johnnie Allan are among his musical influences. 

He’s played with Warren Storm, McClain and Allan.

After a year of not being able to play much live music because of COVID-19, Allemand said he is looking forward to entertaining at the Strand Theatre.

“I’m hoping we can get a good turnout,” he said. “We are trying to get our band out there, but it’s hard to get in the bigger venues because we are not as well known and haven’t been around as long as some of the other bigger bands.”

The Parker James and Parker James Band show scheduled for Sunday, July 18, has been canceled.

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Brandon Degeyter is accordionist and lead vocals for Cajun Reflection.

Special to the American Press

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