soozi schlanger

Swamperella can equally rock a festival tent with fabulous two-steps and zydeco faves, perform a riveting main stage concert and play acoustically, front porch-style. From Cajun twin fiddling and rustic solo accordion, to rockin’ washboard-driven Zydeco originals and traditional tunes, the Swamp experience is exciting, heartfelt and authentic.


Summer 2013
Issue No. 57
Doug Swanson

September 2005
Issue No. 657
Hank Davis

  • Swamperella, the Toronto Cajun band, have just produced their second CD, Black Cat Boogie, and I'm falling in love with their music all over again ...The 17 tracks on Black Cat provide plenty of opportunity to dance, but they also remind you that Cajun music is often melodic and beautiful.... The disc kicks off with the joyous and infectious "La Crep A Nazare," which positively sizzles. Fiddle player Soozi Schlanger, who pours her Cajun soul into the vocals, offers a wonderful reading on "Braille Pas, Jolis Petits Yeux Bleux," a song as bluesy as it is beautiful...Special notice goes to the CD's closer, the amazing "Les Barres De La Prison." Ad some surface noise and it would be right at home on an anthology of Cajun music from 1932.

NOW Toronto
Feb 14-20, 2013
Vol. 32 No. 24
Sarah Greene

Vol.13 No.3
November 2007
Tiina Kiik

  • Swamperella is one of Toronto's favourite Cajun live dance bands, renowned for its toe-tapping and spontaneous performances. The enviable energy has been successfully captured on their third CD release, "On the Line". Even though almost half of the tracks are the band's arrangements of traditional Cajun compositions, covers such a B.Chavis' Paper in My Shoe elevate the band's status to "authentic" purveyors of the Zydeco style. Band members Soozi Schlanger (vocals, lead fiddle, washboard), Peter Jellard (vocals, button accordions, fiddle), Conny Nowe (acoustic and electric guitars), Rachel Melas (acoustic and electric bass) and Dave Pontello (drums and triangle) really do love what they are playing. The result is a well-rehearsed tight band with a firm grip on a musical style which is not the easiest to master. The biggest surprised are two original songs. Schlanger's vocals on her heart wrenching song Same Old You are unforgettable. Button accordionist Peter Jellard's instrumental Frankenstein is a rhythmical and melodic marvel for the instrument with a superb backing by the rest of the band. Co-produced by Swamperella and studio genius John Switzer, the sound quality is first rate. It is also good to hear Switzer play bass as a special guest along with Burke Carroll on lap steel and dobro.

Noix de Cajun
Juin 2013
Bernard Boyat