Big Red
Gig Seeker Pro

Big Red


Band World R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sounds of the Road"

Josef Arline is a big Texan who claims that the music he heard in church had a profound influence on him. Music clearly filled him spiritually and in the 1990s having sung the blues and gospel, Josef “Big Red” Arline decided to apply his big voice and big talent for playing the accordion to Zydeco. And why it took years for a respected record label like Maison de Soul to record him is beyond me. But thankfully, my friend Chris Soileau saw the promise in Arline and now the band’s first official CD “Secret Ingredients” is available for everyone to dance and groove to.

What is it about big Creole men from southwest Louisiana and eastern Texas when you put a button accordion in their hands? Not since I first heard the late Beau Jocque have I been hit with the unbelievable energy that comes from Zydeco music. Josef “Big Red” Arline is standing in the shadow of the late Zydeco Giant. And he’s poised to create excitement on the worldwide Zydeco Road.

“Secret Ingredients” is an incredible CD. It is filled with every vocal and musical element that makes Zydeco music so unique. Arline has a beautiful tenor voice that’s clear, sweet and soulful. His push-pull quick style on the accordion is crisp and effective. The original material penned by Arline is simply terrific and doesn’t smack from stealing chords from other artists. His covers of “Hot Tamale Baby” and Roy Oribison’s “Pretty Woman” are flawless.

Arline is also supported by a very talented group of musicians that comprise his band, The Zydeco Playmakers. The musicians are: Billy McQueen (drums); Jeramy Hawkins (rubboard, background vocals); Troy Eaglin (rubboard); Wilbert Miller (saxophone); Jared Hamilton (organ); Cornelius Guidry (guitar, background vocals); Pat Williams (quitar); Mark Robertson (guitar); and Ken Turner (background vocals).

Every track on this CD is a standout. And I haven’t said that in six years of reviewing Zydeco music. The Zydeco Road is about to make room for a new trailblazer. Big Red and the Zydeco Playmakers have arrived. It doesn’t get any better than “Secret Ingredients,” which earns five peppers. - Paule Pachter/ZydecoRoad.Com





Josef “Big Red” Arline grew up in Hillister, Texas, about 45 minutes north of Beaumont and 45 minutes west of Louisiana. Like many vocalists and performers, church was the place where Josef discovered how much music inspired him. As an older youth, he observed how music had a profound, often spiritual, impact on some and he realized how he gained satisfaction from seeing folks fulfilled by his music.

Josef attended school in nearby Woodville, Texas. He was an athlete, played high school football, and a student of the arts. Josef played trombone in the school band and experimented with other instruments, finding that he could learn just about anything he picked up. In his junior year in high school, part-time construction work became nearly a full-time job, which replaced his football and music participation. After High School he served proudly as a U.S. Marine and was honorably discharged. While in the Marine core he continued to participate in jams sessions on his station base. Josef went back to the construction trade upon his return from the Marines and became a skilled and respected builder.

A few years later, Josef was offered a private construction project in Murray, Utah, in the Salt Lake City area. After the initial project was complete, Josef stayed in the area as the demand for contractors and residential building market was hot. But, music was in his blood. In his spare time, Josef would sample the local music scene in Salt Lake City as well as the commercial music business. This led to part time studio work as a background vocalist and several voice-overs in commercials for radio, including major spots and promotion for the Kentucky Lottery and the Idaho Potato Commission. In his career he has played with many renowned artists. He has also wowed the crowd as he performed with such heavyweight blues legends such as, Percy Sledge, Bobby Bland, Denice LaSalle, rock recording artist “Everclear”, New Orleans world renowned Aaron Neville and The Neville Brothers, and The Godfather Of Soul himself “James Brown”.

In Salt Lake City, Josef worked and hung out with several “framing” carpenters who where Tongan nationals as well as an electrician from Trinidad who headed a reggae band. Josef played Reggae and performed on occasion with different groups at the Safari Reggae Club in Salt Lake City. Not long after, he became lead singer of a Reggae group and remained for a few years while working construction and living in Utah.

Josef rediscovered Blues after moving back to Southeast Texas to make his home. He hung out with “old-school” blues musicians and enveloped himself in the Blues scene of the area. Josef performed as lead vocalist with a couple of different Blues groups. One in particular had a somewhat mixed format of Rock, Blues, & Zydeco. This mixed format gave Big Red the opportunity he felt he needed, but, when the group would play Zydeco they would do so without the accordion. Big Red knew this was not going to work and added it to the show.

Zydeco; a close relative of Blues and Creole accordion and surely kin to Reggae, gave Red the unique space he needed to develop the Big Red Zydeco sound as a writer and performer. Part of his Creole heritage, Red’s accordion sounds of choice were influenced by Zydeco greats: John Delafose, Preston Frank, Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, & Buckwheat Zydeco.

Big Red put together the Zydeco Playmakers and began playing trail rides and private parties. A few performances at Pappadeaux’s in Beaumont, Texas created a whirlwind of bookings for the group. The group later outgrew their local place of practice, which was essentially an old barn-like structure they referred to as the Hockless Place, when locals and others began gathering at their practice sessions.

After some time, Red took the group into the studio and cut their first recording project, titled Zydeco Lady, which was never released to any label in the hopes of a record deal. Big Red and the Zydeco Playmakers struggled the first few years with all the woes of the music business, especially the local music scene.

In 2004 Big Red assembled his second recording project at EMF Productions in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In March of 2005, Big Red and the Zydeco Playmaker’s, Secret Ingredients, their first official CD, was released on Maison de Soul Records.

Big Red is rapidly developing into a power house touring act. Recently his performances have included:

Bayou on the Butte Festival in Crested Butte, CO
The Great Conneticut Cajun/Zydeco Festival in Moodus CT
The LouWISiana Hot Sauce Fest in Oshkoah Wisconsin
Mardi Gras in Port Arthur, TX
Universal Studios Orlando, FL

Big Red is destined to make a huge impact on the world with his music.