Local legends Sweet Crude to step into spotlight

Sweet+Crude

Sweet Crude

Ben Shooter, Staff Reporter

This year is winding up to be a promising year for New Orleans-based rock band Sweet Crude. Not only is the band preparing to rock the stage Friday at Gasa Gasa; it is also looking forward to its set at the highly-anticipated Buku Music and Art Festival.

In the last few years Sweet Crude’s sound has become well-known in the local scene. Now, the band is hoping to turn a wider audience on to their music, while maintaining its strong New Orleans following.  

Sweet Crude is not a conventional rock n’ roll outfit. The seven-piece band relies heavily on percussion instruments, and does not use guitars. Band member Sam Craft said traditional New Orleans music heavily influences the unique instrumentation and sound. 

“We’re heavily influenced by the percussion that’s found in Zydeco music and in New Orleans Brass band music and funk,” Craft said. “We got the idea to do this kind of drum-heavy sound through watching all the great bands that you see marching in parades and the brass bands you see on the street.”

The band’s New Orleans influence shows in its vocals, as well. Sweet Crude is particularly known for incorporating the French Creole language into its lyrics. Craft considers the language culturally relevant and important.

“We hope they’ll maybe latch on to the fact that we’re trying to do a thing where we preserve the Louisiana-French language in our music,” Craft said. “We want to embrace and promote the continued use of the Louisiana French dialect in a non-Cajun, non-Zydeco kind of medium.”  

Onstage, Sweet Crude likes to rely purely on live musicianship. Craft hopes this organic approach will stand out at Buku, a largely electronic event.

“Everything that we do is live and in your face,” Craft said. “Most of everything we do is before your very eyes, and nothing is pre-recorded.”