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MP3 Bas Clas - Volume One - The Early Years 1977-86

Swamp pop meets American rock and the British Invasion.

22 MP3 Songs in this album (69:14) !
Related styles: ROCK: Rock & Roll, ROCK: Americana

People who are interested in The Replacements Elvis Costello The Clash should consider this download.

Donnie Picou, lead vocals, rhythm guitar. Steve Picou, lead guitar, vocals. Geoff Thisthletwaite, bass. Ted Cobena, drums.

For 30 years, Bas Clas has - in various configurations - has been bringing passionate, intelligent rock to audiences across the southeast. The band took most of the last decade off, working together remotely on various projects. They''ve returned to live performance because they just love playing together.

The core of the band are the Picou brothers, Donnie and Steve. Donnie has been involved in music since the mid 60s, when he formed the Missing Links while a student at St. Edmund''s High School in Eunice, LA. He''s been writing music since then, too.

Bas Clas (which is French for "low class") was formed in the late 1970s in Lafayette, LA, when an existing band that Donnie belonged to broke up. Steve joined in at that point and they''ve been playing together ever since.

Donnie is the main songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist. He''s active as a solo performer in Atlanta, drawing on his catalog of well over 100 songs. His song writing has evolved over the years. Ironically, his Louisiana roots have become more evident since moving to Atlanta in the mid-80s. His other influences include Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Kinks, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and innumerable performers he heard growing up in south Louisiana.

Donnie''s song writing combines a keen eye for observation, a rich sense of irony, and a sly (sometimes wicked) since of humor. It was his songs and the band''s intensity that brought Bas Clas to the attention of the legendary talent maven John Hammond, Sr.

Steve Picou grew up playing piano in Eunice. His guitar playing is built on that solid foundation of music developed in those years. It''s lyrical and melodic. The passion and intensity that he brings to the guitar is more the result of a combination of outside influence and his personality.

Steve''s social conscience is evident in the cover songs Bas Clas performs. Steve sings lead on songs by the Kinks, the Clash, Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon and others. Steve has lived in New Orleans for the past 15 years, is a Katrina survivor, and is civic and social activist committed to that city''s recovery.

Geoff Thistlethwaite plays bass and is the band''s technical guru. Geoff and drummer Ted Cobena were part of the second wave of Bas Clas, joining the band as a unit in June 1979. It was a baptism by fire. Two days after joining the band, Geoff and Ted joined the Picou brothers on stage at the Kingfish in Baton Rouge for a gig recorded for television. What they lacked in terms of intimate familiarity with the music, they made up for with enthusiasm. The gig was a success!

Geoff is an in-demand sound engineer on the club circuit in Louisiana, bringing a wealth of technical and musical expertise to whatever task happens to be at hand. He has been instrumental in getting the Blue Moon Saloon and Hostel to webcast performances from their stage.

Geoff also handles the primary engineering work on various Bas Clas recording projects. A native of Opelousas, Louisiana, Geoff grew up in the family of a newspaper publisher.

In the 1986, the Picou brothers, Geoff and then-drummer John Boissiere, moved Bas Clas to Atlanta. Ultimately, the pull of Louisiana was too much for him to resist. He moved back to Opelousas in 1991, where he developed his technical niche in the music industry here.

Ted Cobena (aka "Cliff Boulder") is a native of Rayne, Louisiana, whose first stint with Bas Clas lasted almost a decade. Ted is a musician''s drummer in that he has proven time and again that he can flourish in any musical style.

Ted had left Bas Clas just prior to the band''s move to Atlanta. He and his wife Celeste moved to the Florida Panhandle where he established himself as a key player in the music scene there. His home studio and his affiliation with a Nashville songwriters group has enabled him to help a number of musicians in the Destin area extend their reach and grow their careers.

Even when he was no longer a performing member of Bas Clas, Ted continued to collaborate on recording projects with Donnie on solo projects. Eventually, that remote collaboration model enabled a virtual Bas Clas to emerge that continued to develop new material.

For the most part, virtual Bas Clas was the only evidence of life in the band from the middle of the 1990s until 2006. The only gigs the band played were a couple of benefit concerts. But, that was enough to draw the band back towards the stage.

Rehearsals for two Lafayette gigs in late 2008 re-lit the fire. The gigs at Downtown Alive (an outdoor venue) and the Blue Moon Saloon were proof that this was not a band content to rehash the ''glory days.''

There was a passion and intensity in those performances that proved to the band and its fans that Bas Clas is relevant. In a world hungry for authenticity, integrity and commitment, Bas Clas is ready to stand and deliver.

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