Sugar Bayou
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Sugar Bayou

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sugar Bayou-Dance Hall Incident"

Eclectic Acoustic Americana
Sugar Bayou: Dance Hall Incident

From note one, “Dance Hall Incident” catches the ear, gets the foot a tapping and has that distinctive Texas feel with other shades to follow. Sugar Bayou; April Rapier, Bob Oldreive, Bill Browder with producer Mike Thompson have created a piece of work laced with twists of country, blue grass, folk but adds a nice shot of

blues & jazz just to settle the listener deep into their deep grooves. The vocal work on this project is astounding in it’s clarity allowing their self-penned tunes to shine brightly through. Production, usage and placement of instruments lends toward each tunes texture and vibe with intention. April’s vocals cut through on the opening tune “Galveston” along with a walking guitar/bass, and then keys enter to transport you to a Texas dance hall. “Dance With You”, is a smart lyric, April’s vocal allows as with the first Bob Oldreive’s tune to shine through. “Leavin’ For Austin”, has Oldreive vocalizing on his original blue grass feel, driving strongly with all the essential instrumentation that a Texas swing band requires. “ I Will Wait”, slows the train down a bit with a sweet story of love from the country/folk side of the street, April’s vocal is perfectly placed in production with guitars, mandolin bass and accordion. “He’s Just Weak”, is blues down to the bone, that sweet little April vocal vibe disappears to a harden woman telling the truth about some weak cat on his way out. Nice piano in this piece, and the sax takes the tune home. “Two Feet”, is another of Bob Oldreive’s tunes. the vocal working in this tender folk/country tune weaves images of living too long on the road, though ambiguous in who he’s talking to, this tune just works. “Salt Creek”, is blue grass with hot country licks dancing all over the mind of the listener, this instrumental is placed well in this 16 song project, fun stuff. “Oldreive’s vocal styling in “ Jacob’s Well” has a hint of the Eagles and works well with the production. “Funny Thing About Love“, has April’s vocal coupled with piano in a jazz feel, with a sax assisting, a great vibe and feel. “Forever Angel” is a sudden twist leaning toward a county-rock feel, the arrangement in this piece is well thought out, this song feels a bit like Seattle based, Michael Tomlinson’s production. “Someone Else’s Dream”, is a tender vibe, with lyric and harmony to match. This tune could have been written twenty years ago, and this type of harmony is rare today. “ Colorado Cajun”, another instrumental drives and takes no prisoners. “Dreamin’ Of You”, opens with lush piano leaning into April singing a tender lyric of yearning for love lost. This tune again breaks up the work well, as it is very sparse in production and well placed. ‘Faith Train” again picks the pace up and is just a lighthearted look at the old story of good and evil. “Deep Sadness”, has an old-time feel with a hint of the influence Allison Kraus and Union Station must have had on these players. “Now That You’re Gone” is a splendid ending to this project with a straight ahead jazz vibe and has April’s vocal and piano weaving sadness leading to acoustic guitar, sax and piano solos that are the best of this project. This CD is a pure joy to listen to and one of the best-produced CD's I've heard in a long time. [Christopher Anderson] - Victory Review Acoustic Music Magazine, November 2010

"My Texas Music"

Multiple talents converge to form Sugar Bayou and the enchantment begins. With an acoustic foundation and an electrifying orchestration, Sugar Bayou navigates through the twelve cuts on "NOWHERE BUT GONE" (Vocalicon Records) like a poled pirogue down a curvaceous bayou on a lazy Sunday afternoon. A masterful production and a double dose of 'smooth' are just the beginning accolades for this sweet 2003 release. April and Bob split the lead vocal performance about half and half with each of them applying their unique style to the expert arrangements. Both voices are silky and polished with an inviting tone that shrouds the listener in an inexplicable urge to drag a big cozy recliner out to the water's edge and just lounge the entire day away. April Rapier, Bob Oldreive, Bill Browder, Paul Kiteck and Robert Knetsch are the core of Sugar Bayou, trading and sharing the writing and vocal duties throughout �Nowhere But Gone� (produced by Robbie Parrish, co-produced by April Rapier and Bob Oldreive). Appearances by Shannon Cutts on mandolin and brother Adam Cutts (voted Texas� Favorite Fiddler two years running), Paul English, Greg Harbar, Anita Kruse and Andy Moritz (now with Cadillac Sky, Ricky Skaggs Family Records) add to the all-star cast of pickers, including Parrish himself on drums. The genre leans to the folk side at times, but then there's the swing element and an occasional country influence, especially when April adorably croons the line "...and when I stopped looking there you were..." in "Have And To Hold." This is an excellent album from a very promising band of Houston professionals. One listen, you'll be a big fan, too. Get the disc today!
�My Texas Music

"Houston Chronicle"

Dance Hall Incident by Sugar Bayou
By JOEY GUERRA?Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle
November 28, 2007

Sugar Bayou began working on Dance Hall Incident 2-1/2 years ago and officially unveiled the disc in October at a Mucky Duck release party. But the long gestation period wasn't due to a lack of creativity or commitment.

It was, according to band member April Rapier, the result of "an embarrassment of riches in terms of material."

The eclectic, acoustic outfit also went through a few personnel changes that, in turn, shifted the musical direction.

The current Sugar Bayou lineup includes Rapier on vocals, guitar and mandolin; Bob Oldreive on vocals and guitar; Paul Kiteck (fiddle), Robert Knetsch (bass) and Bill Browder (guitar and vocals).

"We wanted to reflect a little bit of what we sound like onstage. It's taken us all this time," Oldreive says. "The project stalled. We started gigging, and we started developing a different sound."

The chemistry sparkles throughout Dance Hall Incident, which stands tall amid the year's best local releases. It's a surprising, vibrant collection of instrumentation and thoughtful vocals.

It's tempting to label Sugar Bayou a bluegrass band, and indeed, there are pockets of that earthy sound (Leavin' For Austin, the gorgeous Faith Train) showcased amid the disc's 16 tracks.

But that's hardly the disc's defining sound. Dance With You is an early standout, a romantic, Cajun-spiced ode to long-term love that would sound great on radio. Oldreive wrote the song in 1989 and rediscovered it while digging through old material.

He's Just Weak is a bluesy charmer topped by Rapier's sassy vocal, and Funny Thing About Love has a jazzy, supper-club glow.

There's fire in feisty instrumental Salt Creek, and Galveston's bouncy lyrics name-check the Strand, the Balinese Room and the Heights.

"It's snapshots of where we've been, and kind of where we're going, too," Rapier says of the record. "We don't fit neatly into any particular category. I feel like the less limits you impose on your life and your music and your art or whatever it is you do, the more opportunities fly your way."

The band's freewheeling credo also attracted some impressive guests, including Paul English, Floyd Domino and Mary Cutrufello. Prolific producer Lloyd "freakin' " Maines plays dobro and steel on several tracks.

And though the mix is hard to pin down, it seems to have found a receptive local home.

"Every kind of music informs what we do," Rapier says. "I think people think it's refreshing. Our songs don't sound alike. It's easy for me to brag on this band. Any club I've called has said, 'Bring it on.' "
- Joey Guerra, Music Critic

"Maverick Magazine, UK"

Continuously I’m asked just what is Americana music. Well, this second album by this eclectic Texas-based outfit is probably the best example I can offer. What you have here is a rich amalgam of bluegrass, country, folk, blues, swing, jazz and everything between. The basic Sugar Bayou line-up of Bob Oldreive (guitars, vocals), April Rapier (guitars, mandolin, vocals), Paul Kiteck (fiddle, mandolin), Bill Browder (guitars, piano, vocals ) and Robert Knetsch (bass), is augmented by such well-known players as Eddie Cantu (drums), Floyd Domino (piano), Lloyd Maines (pedal steel, Dobro), Freddie Steady Krc (drums), Michael Ramos (accordion), Kerry Jones (banjo) and Paul English (piano). It all adds up to a most enjoyable and fulfilling musical feast. - Maverick Magazine

"Best In Texas Magazine, Texas Music Chart"

When I listen to new CDs, I admit to an itchy trigger finger. If a track doesn't hold me through a first chorus, I forward to the next track, then the next. It may not be fair, but I get lots of CDs. Yours stood out. I even played some tracks again. No wonder you're getting such rave reviews! The band is nice and tight (it really shows on the two instrumentals); the vocals are nicely crafted. Congratulations! Sorry to be late to the party.
Ed Shane, 2/08 - Ed Shane

"Illinois Public Radio"

This is a fine recording - I like "Galveston", "Dance With You", and "Now That You're Gone" particularly, and "He's Just Weak" is a real hoot…
Jeff Holtz, Music Director
Tri-State Public Radio - Jeff Holtz, Music Director, WIUM/WIUW FM

"Americana Backroads"

Just a quick shout while I find the snow shovel and make sure we have all we need to make it ‘til next year, I wanted to write you a quick email and thank you for sending "Dance Hall Incident," the PERFECT cd for a New Year's Party radio show -- it really shimmers and shines with that good groovin' and heart tuggin' sort of stuff I like to play for the big wide radio listeners here in Montana, and some say wider now that KGLT streams on the internet. This one sure is nice. I think your singing is really especially fine, April, and what a band! Best, Rik - KGLT FM, Rik James


We received 2 CDs from Sugar Bayou in the past couple months. I’m happy to tell you that both are being played on our Americana and folk shows. We don’t tell our DJs what to play, so they select music for their shows based on what they like. More than half the tracks from the first CD you sent have been played and a couple from the second CD, received only 10 days ago, have also been played. Your music fits our Americana programming well and we are glad you found us. - George Dayton, Folk Director

"Review of Dance Hall Incident"

March 21, 2009
By Will Frant

Another great CD from Texas! Sugar Bayou delivers the goods!

Excellent songwriting, great vocals and harmonies and superb musicianship! I especially enjoyed “Leaving for Austin” – the steel work of Lloyd Maines and hot guitar of Bill Browder. The song “Two Feet” is just that classic good ol’ Texas songwriting. The talent that comes from Texas is never ending and this band has a lot to go around. I look forward to the next disc! - iTunes-Will Frant


Dance Hall Incident, Sugar Bayou

An easy chemistry and impeccable instrumentation make this eclectic disc sparkle. The songs veer effortlessly between bluegrass, blues, jazz and Cajun rhythms. It's like asking your (thoughtful) friends to contribute tunes for a party playlist. Standout moments include the gorgeous gospel-bluegrass of "Faith Train", the swooning charm of "Dance With You" and "Galveston", a top-down ode to our sister city.

–Joey Guerra - Houston Chronicle

"KPIE Talent Library"

We welcome a new addition to the KPIE Talent Library, SUGAR BAYOU. These very talented artisans come from Houston, Texas. They write and play, in their words, “eclectic acoustic music – joyful, complex, ethereal vocals & instruments infused with folk, bluegrass, swingy blues-jazz, Celtic & Cajun traditions (& a touch of Texas rockin’ country).” That’s an excellent description. They really are a group of professional musicians who know how to make great music. Some major label is sound asleep not to sign these folks up! A winning team with a very winning sound! To learn more about them, get one of their CD’s or for booking information visit their website at Below is their newest CD entitled “Dance Hall Incident.” From the vocals to the instrumentals, an excellent collection of talent well put together in a CD all can enjoy.

–Fred Compton
- Radio Station KPIE


"Nowhere But Gone" & "Dance Hall Incident"
Title track, "Nowhere But Gone" played on NPR's Car Talk
Pacifica Stations: "Deeper Love", "Someone Else's Dream" & "Abraham"
Extensive national & international radio airplay, independent and mainstream stations



Almost half-a-hundred dog years ago (unless you count Junior High Choir), Bob Oldreive & April Rapier started playing music together. Bob has a musical pedigree the size of the Big Bend (remember Dogtooth Violet?), and has a new songwriting award to add to his resume: American Songwriter Contest, 2nd place for "Someone Else's Dream", 8th place in 2007. April sang demos coast to coast, playing in various bands during her years in Europe, Colorado & Hawaii. They formed a band called Sugar Bayou. Today, Sugar Bayou is: Bob (guitar & vocals), April (vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo & piano), Austin's own guitar god Bill Browder, renown bassist Robert Knetsch & fiddler guru Richard Bowden. "Dance Hall Incident", their second CD of original songs, was released in August, 2007 and debuted to a sold out audience at McGonigel's Mucky Duck in Houston in October, following the success of their first CD, "Nowhere But Gone." Sugar Bayou was nominated for a Houston Press Music Award (best trad. folk) in '08. "Dance Hall Incident" features a wish-list come-true lineup, including Lloyd Maines, Michael Ramos, Floyd Domino, Paul English, Eddie Cantu, Kerry Jones, Mike Rieman, Kevin Hall and John Mills. Produced by April Rapier, Bob Oldreive, Bill Browder & Mike Thompson/Ivory Tower Realizations, engineered by Layton DePenning/Elmo's Lab and mastered by Jerry Tubb/Terra Nova Digital, "Dance Hall Incident" has been hailed as masterful, eclectic, pure joy, with powerful writing and brilliant musicianship at its foundation. Influences vary from Beatles to Townes Van Zant, Ricky Skaggs to Phoebe Snow. In the Dec. issue of UK's Maverick Magazine, Laura Bethell says: "Continuously I’m asked just what is Americana music. Well, this second album by this eclectic Texas-based outfit is probably the best example I can offer."