Vic Sadot
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Vic Sadot

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"Vic Sadot: Music as Vehicle for Social Change."

Tried & Troubadours: Crabmeat Thompson & Vic Sadot
55 Hours Entertainment – News Journal, Wilmington, DE
April 17. 2005 and on www.delawareonline.com

By Gary Mullinax

A lot of things have changed in Newark since Vic Sadot
formed his first band in 1979 and played his first gig at the
rowdy Deer Park Tavern with its creaking floors and
permanent smell of spilled beer.

“The Deer Park’s a more refined place now”, he said with a
Laugh. “Remember how bad the bathrooms used to be?
Disgusting! If you were away from downtown Newark for
20 years you wouldn’t recognize it. The two things I miss
the most are the State Theater and the Deluxe Luncheonette.”

But Sadot doesn’t pine much for the old days. He’s gone
through his own changes. “I don’t really hang out much now,”
he said. “I just come home and get on the Internet.”

That doesn’t mean he’s let his music career slide. He begins
working it each night when the computer screen lights up.

He uses his web site, www.vicsadot.com to market his music,
communicate his personal story, and collaborate with other
musicians and songwriters.

“I’m starting to reach an audience all over the country and
even other countries,” said Sadot, who credits his sound
engineer, Dean Banks, with introducing him to the on-line
world.

“I think like a lot of people I didn’t know what to make of the
Internet at first. Dean said he didn’t know if he should show
me what it’s like online, I might like it too much. He was
right. I spend a lot of time there.”

Whe he has it. By day, Sadot works at a warehouse, where
they call him Frenchy. By night he goes by his real name, and
his mind and spirit are far from hand-trucks and loading docks.

“I’ve always kept a day job,” said Sadot, 57. “I didn’t know
if it was possible to play music full time, and I still don’t know.
But you keep dreaming.”

In performance at places like the Blue Crab Grill in Newark or
this year’s Mardi Gras celebration at 4 W 5 Café in Wilmington,
Sadot puts on his big straw hat and tie-dyed shirt and whoops
it up with Cajun music from French-speaking Louisiana or folk
and rock songs he has been writing since he spent a week with
folk singer Phil Ochs in Washington, DC, in the 1970’s.

On the best nights, his nieces and nephews are in the audience
cheering on Uncle Vic.

Sadot moved to Washington, DC after receiving a degree in
Political Science at the University of Delaware. He took a job as
a social worker, participated in some political demonstrations and
worked at the Georgetown University radio station, where he was
asked to interview Ochs when he was in town for a performance
at the Cellar Door.

“I ended up putting him up for a week, “ Sadot said.

Ochs was a hero to Sadot because his strong, left-leaning political
sensibilities.

“I always thought of music as a vehicle for social change,” Sadot
Said. “I admired people like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.”

A few years after Ochs’ suicide, Sadot was talking to the editor of
the leftist-leaning Broadside music magazine, who showed him
Ochs’ FBI file.

“The first thing they had on him was that he joined the American
Musician’s Union. I thought that was a legal thing to do.”

Sadot’s sympathy for the underdog also can be seen on his (Haiti
Solidarity) web site at www.vivehaiti.com where he championed
Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

His political views have influenced his work in the Crazy Planet
Band. Som early examples are found on Sadot’s new album,
“Broadsides & Retrospectives,” which includes both old and new
songs by the band.

One of the new ones is called “Mad Cowboy Disease.” He and
his brother Rob got the idea for it when they were attending a
Washington demonstration against the Iraq War a couple of
year’s ago.

Here’s a taste: “You know it’s kind o’ Sci-Fi what’s happening
today. A Zombie epidemic has hit the USA! You get it thru your
TV… Listen well, I’ll tell you how. It attacks you in the brain like
contaminated cow!”

He wrote a song called “Are You a Citizen” after he tried to get
a co-worker to read an article he had brought in.

“He said, “I don’t read political things.” I said, “Are you a
Citizen”? Isn’t this just something you kind of have to do to
keep your country free?” He told me you can’t change anything.”

He told a friend, Cindy Abromowitz Hubschimitt, about this in an
Email chat.

“She said, ‘Why don’t you write a song about it? She started
typing stuff. It evolved even more online. We finished off the
song in person.”

Sadot collaborated – again by Internet – with French musicians
who set a poem of his French father to music. The album
includes this and four other settings of work by Jean-Henri
Sadot, a soldier for France who fought with the Resistance
during World War II before he married Vic’s mother and moved
to America.

“He went to the University of Delware and studied to be a teacher
while he was working at Chrysler,” said Sadot of his father, who
died in 1969.

“Broadsides & Retrospectives” doesn’t contain any of Sadot’s
Cajun songs, thought that is what he plays most at concerts
with his second band, Planete Folle. He got the Cajun bug when
he visited Louisiana in 1992.

“I was living with a guy from Quebec who said something to me
about how French is dying out down there. I said, “I gotta go
find out.”

He first went to New Orleans and heard no French at all.
Somebody suggested he go to the Cajun country in the south-
western part of the state. There he met a guy who played
accordion a Cajun band.

“I ended up playing a couple of songs on stage with him, and
then I traveled with the band,” Sadot recalled.”We had a blast
doing those Cajun dances.”

He then met a French speaker at the Cajun-country folk
festival. (Louisiana Folklife Festival in Eunice, Louisiana)

“I was just walking by and heard somebody speaking French.
He drew me into his circle and I ended up speaking French
with him and his friends the whole night. He was an older man.
He reminded me a little of my dad.”

Sadot returned to Newark and formed the Planete Folle.

“I recruited a bunch of guys and then went through some
Guys till I had the right ones,” he said. “It’s pretty simple
Music with three chords, mostly a two step, some blues
Beats.”

But he knows if he ever needs a refresher on the style,
it’s as near as a few clicks on the keyboard in a room
that doesn’t smell like spilled beer.

Contact Gary Mullinax at 302-324-2888 or
gmulinax@delawareonline.com
- Wilmington News Journal, April 17, 2005, 55 Hourrs


Discography

(1) 1985 2 song 45rpm single Good Time Delaware/Born To Win
(2) 1988 12 song LP titled Ride The Wind
(3) 1997 16 song CD of Cajun/Zydeco and New Orleans R&B Songs of the Louisiana Bayou by Planete Folle Band: http://cdbaby.com/cd/vicsadot
(4) 2005 19 song CD "Best of 25 Years of Vic Sadot Recordings" is a mix of folk, rock, blues, and one reggae and one Spanish song under the title of Broadsides & Retrospectives: http://cdbaby.com/cd/vicsadot2
(5) 2011 16 song CD "9/11 Truth & Justice Songs" http://cdbaby.com/vicsadot3

(6) 2016 18 song CD "Truth Troubadour" http://cdbaby.com/vicsadot4

Photos

Bio

Vic is a singer-songwriter offering mainly original songs in his (1) solo/duo and (2) Crazy Planet Band shows. The topics range from the kind of subjects you would expect from one who claims and celebrates the folk tradition of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, and Phil Ochs as his heritage. Crazy Planet Band has been around since 1979 and is Vic's showcase for his original folk, rock, and blues songs. (3) Planete Folle features Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans R&B covers, many of which are in Louisiana French.

News Journal writer Gary Soulsman once referred to Vic as “the Pete Seeger of Delaware”. Indeed, environmental preservation themes and tributes to local places are celebrated in such titles as White Clay Creek, Our Only Chesapeake, The Brandywine and The Christina, The Fog Watch on Limestone Road, The Swans on Smalley's Pond, The Rugged Hills of Landenberg, and the Chuck Berry-style boogie driven classic tribute to the Delaware shore known as Good Time Delaware.
Vic's most recent songs take on the issues of our post-9/11 times. Titles like Mad Cowboy Disease, Are You a Citizen, The Ballad of Pat Tillman, and Cheney's in the Bunker have been put into rotation at Pacifica's new internet radio station at www.noliesradio.org and they can be heard at www.myspace.com/vicsadotscrazyplanetband
Vic's friend, Dean Banks, has created several videos for YouTube, such as The Ballad of Pat Tillman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFB6r5SVpP4

When Vic Sadot jump starts (3) the Planete Folle band with his "Pointe Noir" 10 button accordion into a hot Cajun/ Zydeco song like Makin' Love in the Chicken Coop or Zack’s Zydeco, and when the whole band suddenly puts on those bright-colored, bizarre-looking Mardi Gras masks, get ready for a stunning and memorable show! Monty Cullum brings finesse and experience to the electric guitar; Mike Reynolds delivers a rich transcendent piano accordion that generates an enticing dance ambiance. The superb drumming of the legendary Nashville sessions man, Chris Sherlock, accompanied by the steady driving bass runs of Jimmy Pritchard make for a formidable dance rhythm section. The soulful vocals and contagious joy for this French roots music that Vic Sadot puts into the mix tie it all together in a way that engages audiences of all ages! The 1998 Philadelphia Folk Festival program guide put it like this:

"What Planète Folle gives you is sweet Cajun soul mixed with hot Zydeco pepper! They will take you cruising through the Bayou back roads to that swamp party where the good times roll! You will feel like you've been carried off to a traditional "Fais Do Do" Dance Party!”

Planète Folle specializes in creating a good time dance party atmosphere with hot Cajun 2-steps, beautiful traditional waltzes, steamy New Orleans R&B, and spicy Zydeco songs. The band performs this repertoire with deep respect and commitment to the energy and authenticity of the sound, style, and French lyrics of the Cajun and Creole music of Louisiana. Planète Folle is a highly original act in terms of Vic’s C/Z song writing as well as in delivering a sense of the meaning of many of the great classic songs of the Louisiana Bayou. Vic often writes one English verse that boils down the story of a song for those who don’t understand French. It all translates into “Beaucoup Fun”! Pronounce the name right by making it rhyme as in “Let the good times roll with Planète Folle!

Planète Folle has had the honor of playing Louisiana music in many great places over the years. Highlights of their celebrated “Bon Temps Rouler” shows would have to include the “Gene Shay Folk Music Show” and “Kids Corner” on WXPN, Wilmington DE's Grand Opera House “Grand Gala”, numerous New Year’s Eve shows for First Night Wilmington, Newark Community Day events, the Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, PA, the Bethlehem Musikfest, Chadds Ford Days, Delaware Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Delmarva Folk Festival in Hartley, DE, and many summer park concerts, country clubs, private parties, and weddings.

The official web site for Vic Sadot's music projects is:
www.vicsadot.com