When The Revelers’ Chris Miller conjures images of Cedar Rapids, the laid-back saxophonist thinks of java breaks.
“The last time we played there (in 2017), I had the best coffee,” Miller said by phone from his Lafayette, La., home. “I can’t remember which shop it was. I just know it was delicious. If we’re driving through the Midwest, I always think about stopping in Cedar Rapids for coffee.”
His wish will be granted when the Cajun band performs Friday (3/13) at CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids. Perhaps the overabundance of caffeine flowing through the Grammy-nominated band will propel the group to new heights.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Miller said with a laugh. “It’ll be a big party when we get back to play Cedar Rapids.”
The Revelers will showcase tracks from the latest album, “At the End of the River,” which combines familiar Cajun with country and roots-rock.
“We jump around quite a bit with this album,” Miller said. “We play a number of different styles, but that’s how we are as a band. Everybody brings their influences to the table. We love to play a variety of the original and the traditional.”
Each album the musicians craft features songs that take listeners to a different place. The old-school band with the comforting sounds of the accordion and French sung songs, makes albums with an arc. The music tells a story with a variety of sounds.
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“We keep it interesting, but there is a common denominator, and it’s that we play dance music,” Miller said. “It’s a party every time we perform. That’s just what happens.”
The fiery band’s concerts bring a slice of Mardi Gras.
“It’s in our blood,” Miller said. “We can’t help but go all out and have a good time when we play live. Once you get on that stage, it’s all about having fun.”
But all of The Revelers — which also includes singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Blake Miller, vocalist/guitarist Chas Justus, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Coolik, vocalist/bassist Trey Boudreaux and vocalist/drummer Glenn Fields — are dead serious when the group performs.
That’s particularly so when the band tests out material, which could happen when they return to CSPS. Unlike many of their peers, The Revelers have no issues with unrecorded material posted on YouTube by fervent fans.
“When it comes to new songs, we are compelled to road test songs,” Miller said. “That’s the best way to know if the songs work or what needs to be changed. We’ll play the songs out and then we spend considerable time with them while tracking and mixing them. We never want to rush anything with this process. We have a certain way of doing things.”
What separates The Revelers from many other recording artists is that it’s a true collective effort. Blake Miller (no relation to Chris Miller) is a gifted and prolific writer of French Cajun music, but other members are welcome to contribute to songs and everyone in the band sings. Chris Miller, who has been a longtime collaborator and committed as a full-time member in 2013, gushes when speaking about his pals in the group.
“They’re the best,” he said. “Our bond propels us. I’ve known these guys for 13 or 14 years. We’re like family now. We all share our love of music. We all might have a different idea what Louisiana music sounds like, but we don’t have a lot of drama. We know we’re only going to reach a certain level of popularity. We’re not going to reach the Taylor Swift-level of fame but we’re in a good place. We just want to create this joyful music for as long as we can.”
When Miller returns to Cedar Rapids, he’ll be thinking about two things: “I can’t wait to play CSPS, and I’ll be looking for that coffee shop. If I can have a cup before I play, it’ll be a great night.”
• What: The Revelers
• Where: CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
• When: 8 p.m. Friday (3/13)
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• Tickets: $17 advance, $21 door; CSPS Box Office, (319) 364-1580 or legionarts.org/events/upcoming/
• Band’s website: revelersband.com/