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On this edition of The NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias, we have the next episode in our French Quarter Fest Series! We welcome Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes of Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots. We discuss not only his musical background but also his experience as a naturalist for the National Park Service, his role as Big Chief of the North Side Skull and Bone Gang, his time as a professional athlete, and more!

Pictured above from left – Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes of Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots and Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show.

NOLADrinks Show – 2-25-19 – French Quarter Fest Series – Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes

We start things off letting you know about this week’s show. We also let you know that we will be off next week celebrating Mardi Gras!

Next up, we have our featured interview at Louisiana Music Factory. As part of our ongoing French Quarter Fest Series, we chat with Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, a fascinating man of many talents. He is the leader of the Zydeco band, Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots. They will perform at French Quarter Fest on Friday, April 12.

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We discuss Bruce’s background growing up in Arkansas and his musical influences. We talk about what led him to South Louisiana and how he became engrossed in the region’s music, including Cajun/Zydeco, and its culture.

Aside from being an accomplished musician, Bruce has a diverse and interesting background. He played college football in Arkansas and had a brief career in the NFL. During his university stint, he studied ichthyology, something that contributed to his journey to Louisiana.

Bruce worked for several years as a naturalist for the National Park Service. We chat about some of his work there, and now, though retired from that gig, we discuss how he remains active in this area including a current project on wild mushrooms.

Pictured at left from left – Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes of Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots and Bryan Dias of The NOLADrinks Show.

We close out the radio portion of the show with Bruce talking about his deep involvement with the Mardi Gras Indian culture as the Big Chief of the North Side Skull and Bone Gang. OF course, we also talk about what participating and performing in French Quarter Fest means to him.

Bruce sticks around for our podcast-only portion, “Another Shot with NOLADrinks.” Among other things, Bruce lets us know about his new project that is a combination of a book and musical recordings celebrating “Le Coeur Créole.”

We close things out with our “Parting Shot” simply wishing you all a safe and joyous Mardi Gras (wherever you may be)! You can subscribe to, stream, and download The NOLADrinks Show podcast using the player and links at the top of the post. The map below shows the location of Louisiana Music Factory.

Cheers, You All!

~ Bryan

Music Played on This Episode

Here’s the music we played going in and out of the commercial breaks and the radio portion close. All can be found in-person or online at Louisiana Music Factory:

 

  • “We Are The North Side Skull and Bone Gang” – Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots
  • “Marie Laveau” – Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots
  • “Island Man” – Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots
  • “Come Back Love” – Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots
  • “Too Late” – Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots
  • “Tu Me’ Fair Braillier” – Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots