Release Date: 2006
Label: Mardi Gras Records
- Offshore Blues
- Rocking With Roy
- Everybody’s Picking On Me
- Let’s Go Down
- Oh Bye Bye
- Bird Without His Feathers
- I Found A Love
- I’m Coming Home To Stay
- My Baby Don’t Wear No Shoes
- Old Grandma and Grandpa
- Let the Meatball Roll
- Zydeco Lawtell
- What You Gonna Do With A Man Like That
- Same Old Places
- Show Me How To Love
Roy Carrier was born February 11, 1947 in rural Louisiana near Lawtell, one of 9 children in a sharecropping family. Carrier’s father Warren, himself a Zydeco musician, would play the accordion on weekends at parties and la la dances. When Carrier was 6 years old, he began to accompany his father to these events, and would play along with him on the frottoir, or “rubboard”. He continued this for several years, moving to drums and then to guitar.
His desire, however, was always to play the accordion like his father, and he would secretly practice on his father’s accordion when Warren was away, risking a beating when he was caught. His father soon recognized his skill with the instrument and would then allow him to freely practice.
Carrier formed his first band in 1961, at the age of 14, with himself on guitar, a brother on drums, his uncle on the rubboard, and a local accordion player named Chris Johnson. The band was named The Night Rockers, and was the first version of the band that Carrier would continue to use throughout his life. Most of them being underage, the band could not play the local bars, but did play many parish dances.
Carrier would watch and learn from Johnson’s accordion play, and continued to practice. After a year, Johnson left the band and Carrier prepared to take over the lead. However, around this time he lost most of his right index finger in a farming accident, preventing him from taking up the accordion, and impacting his guitar play for several years.
At the age of 17, Carrier returned to the accordion. Since he was now lacking the use of his right index finger, he had to develop a new method of play, known as “crossing chords” or “cross-chording” to achieve the sounds that the missing finger would normally produce. In 1965, he re-formed the Night Rockers band, with himself fronting the group on accordion, and Lawrence Chavis taking over Carrier’s old position on guitar, and played the local bars and nightclubs around the area.
In 1972, the 25-year-old Carrier gave up farming and took a job as an offshore oil worker. The job’s work schedule was 7 days on the rig, followed by 7 days off, during which time he would continue to practice and play shows with his band. He would spend the next 16 years at this job.
Carrier had saved enough money while working the rigs that in 1980 he was able to purchase a small local club in Lawtell, which he named The Offshore Lounge. The club became a place for local Zydeco musicians to meet each other, and practice their skills together in “jam sessions” on Thursdays, which became a regular feature of the club.
During this era, Carrier used his club to encourage the development of Zydeco music in the area, and was instrumental in the early careers of many later well-known Zydeco musicians. Geno Delafose and Beau Jocque, among others, played the club early in their careers, Delafose getting his first paying performance from Carrier. Bassist Robby Robinson, later to form Zydeco Force, began as a member of Carrier’s band, and Carrier later lent the band equipment to get them started. Carrier’s sons Chubby and Troy, as their father had done before, began playing with the Night Rockers by the time they were 10 years old.
In 1989, Carrier quit the offshore work and, with the encouragement of Chubby, began touring with the Night Rockers outside of Louisiana.