“Today’s premier female artist is Rosie Ledet, whose soulful voice kicks her male counterparts’ right out of the club” Wall Street Journal
“If Allman Brothers went zydeco they would probably sound like Rosie Ledet” New York Times
“Ledet is also blessed with one of zydeco’s most distinctive voices. Her husky, soulful tones keep the melodies in your head long after the dance floor has been cleared for the night.” Worcester Magazine
Zydeco Music is most identified by the accordionists who lead the band. Chenier. Chavis. Delafose. A male-dominated music, but over the last 12 years, a sultry, sexy female voice has risen through the ranks and established herself as one of the leading voices in Zydeco. Rosie Ledet wouldn't be denied. Rosie has carved out a unique spot in the Zydeco pantheon, a spot that is defined more by her special style than that she is one of a handful of female accordionists.
Singing in both Creole French and English, Rosie is known for her songwriting ability, as well as her bluesy, sexy singing voice. In fact, her music has often been described as "blues with an accordion"
Accordionist, singer and songwriter Mary Roszela Bellard, "Rosie" Ledet (pronounced led-dett), was raised on rock & roll music. During her teenage years in southwest Louisiana, she listened to classic rock & roll radio stations in nearby Eunice; her favorite groups included Santana and Z.Z. Top.
Like so many other French kids raised in rural southwest Louisiana, she paid no particular attention to all the zydeco music that was around her in her formative years; even though her parents had tried to raise her with a healthy respect for zydeco music, the music held little appeal for her as a kid. But one day, after attending a zydeco dance when she was 16, hearing Boozoo Chavis, and meeting Morris Ledet — who would later become her husband— she was smitten.
She married Morris, the bassist in her band, when she was 17, and while he was on the road touring regionally with a group he led, she stayed home and took care of her ailing mother-in-law. It was during this period of several years that Ledet worked on her accordion playing, honing her skills. At first, she would play along to the recordings of Boozoo Chavis and John Delafose. She began to learn songs intuitively, by ear, and one day surprised her husband by playing a complete Delafose song. Her husband encouraged young Rosie to continue in her efforts, and within a matter of months, she had recorded a demo of her own songs and secured a record deal with Maison de Soul, a zydeco label in nearby Ville Platte.
In a very short time, the prolific songwriter released three albums of her own material, with a backing band that included her husband and father-in-law on bass and rub board, respectively. Ledet's albums include Sweet Brown Sugar (1994), Zydeco Sensation (1997) and It's a Groove Thing! (2000) all for the Maison de Soul label of the Flat Town Music Co. in Ville Platte. All of Ledet's albums showcase superb songs, strong vocals and adequate accordion playing.
Next years she released Show me something (2001), Now's the time (2003), Pick it up (2005), Come get some (2011),Slap your Mama (2013) and the last Raw (2015).
Come get some, a debut on the JSP label, is also her first with producer Andre Nizzari, and under his direction the gentle flirtations with a more mainstream sound heard on previous albums, such as 2001’s Show Me Something,are brought into full bloom. The result is her freshest and most energized release to date.
The results are mixed. As zydeco evolves into a new century, its natural environment has become more urban, its sound harder and grittier. In that context, this bass-heavy mix loaded with studio- modified vocal treatments might win Ledet new fans. On the other hand, the more traditionally minded among her fan base may find some these distortions distracting. One thing they are not is uninteresting. Since Ledet’s been flirting with rock and pop sounds on recent albums, touches of slashing blues guitar leads, pedal-steel accents, and reggae-ified, hip-hop rhythms are not completely unexpected. They often provide moments of welcome sonic variety, and the few lighter-themed compositions and more traditional arrangements here happily supply their own brief moments of truly satisfying and genuinely beautiful music.
She and her band began performing in 1994 throughout the Texas-Louisiana triangle, where they continue to concentrate their efforts, and gradually began to spread their touring base to include the rest of the U.S. Ledet and band have been on several European tours as well.
Rosie and her band have quickly become the act to watch on the zydeco circuit. Se scored the #1 song on KVOL with "I'm Gonna take care of your dog", and won three "best of the Beat" awards from Offbeat magazine, including Best Zydeco Band or Performer, Best New Zydeco Group or Performer, and Best Vocalist.
One of a small handful of women in Zydeco, Rosie has the best chance of long-term success.
Her warm stage presence combined with the infectious Zydeco beat, makes her irresistible to audiences. She also is one of the few younger Zydeco players who still writes and sings some of her own material in Creole French.