Lisa Haley and her Zydekats close the 14th Idyllwild Summer Concert Series. Wildly popular with Idyllwild audiences, Haley and her trademark blue fiddle return on Thursday, Aug. 21, to raise the musical temperature, heighten the humidity and spread the contagion known as zydecosis — an infectious inability to refrain from dancing, from smiling and from fully enjoying the moment.
With storm clouds predicted for next week, the arrival of Haley and her Zydekats will roll in additional weather fronts. She has been described as a force of nature, with her brand of bayou-born toe-tapping instrumental music colored by Haley’s smoky vocal stylings.
fiddler, dancer, vocalist and songwriter Haley serves up heart-moving bayou rhythms that leave audiences feeling better and shaking their heads in wonder at how much better they feel.
Hayley’s 8th album, “Joy Ride,” is getting radio airplay in both the U.S. and in Europe, fueled by Hayley and her Kats’ international tours.
Happy to be returning to the ISCS stage, Haley spoke about the joy of playing in the beautiful outdoor Idyllwild setting. “We love Idyllwild,” said Haley.
Haley’s bayou roots and Louisiana heritage are deeply ingrained and boldly color her music as a fourth-generation fiddler. Her mother’s family were Irish immigrants who arrived in Roddy Bayou, Louisiana, in 1718 to escape a smallpox epidemic, just before a French diaspora forever changed Louisiana. The family soon married into prominent French families further imprinting the musical meld that became zydeco.
Mentored by Cajun and zydeco accordion legends Queen Ida, Danny Poulard and Joe Simien, Haley learned her fiddle secrets from Cajun fiddle master Canray Fontenot.
The Zydekats are: Lisa Haley on violin and vocals; David Fraser on accordion, harmonica, keyboards and vocals; Andy Anders on bass and vocals; and Cam Tyler on drums, rub board and percussion. Called “The Mick Jagger of Zydeco, with swamp rock ala Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams” (Jake Bacon, KUCI radio, Orange County public radio), Haley is a musical experience not to be missed.
Opening at 6:15 p.m. for Lisa and her Kats are locally popular Swift Pony. Haley takes the stage at 7 p.m.
ISCS producer Ken Dahleen and his board thank the Idyllwild community for their donations and sponsorships that have made this series the first in 14 years to make budget before the end of the series. Any money collected at the final concert will be applied to next year’s concert budget, guaranteeing that Dahleen and board will be able to bring the best entertainment to year 15.