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Rod Gator Honors His Home State With New Album 'For Louisiana'

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Formerly known as Rod Melancon, Gator embraces his roots on the new album as he takes on the name originally given to him by his father.

Rod Gator Honors His Home State With New Album 'For Louisiana'

Today, Rod Gator announces the September 17 release of his cinematic new album For Louisiana, via Blue Élan Records. Formerly known as Rod Melancon, Gator embraces his roots on the new album as he takes on the name originally given to him by his father. Along with the announcement, he shares the heartland-rock title track, featured this morning via The Boot.

"'For Louisiana' is a song about self doubt and the ups and downs of being a touring musician," explains Gator. "It's about missing the places you grew up and the people that shaped your childhood. Even though it's far from perfect, it'll always be my home."

Raised in the Louisiana backcountry, Rod Gator grew up absorbing the sounds, stories and swampy swagger of his surroundings. "My dad is an old-school Cajun guy who wanted to name me 'Gator,'" he says. "He's got a good sense of humor, and I think he was also a big fan of Burt Reynolds' Gator films." His mother vetoed the suggestion and instead dubbed him Rod Melancon, but the Gator persona lived on as he developed into a larger-than-life performer celebrated for his sharp storytelling inspired by the cadence, characters and charisma of his home state.

The follow-up to his acclaimed 2019 release Pinkville, For Louisiana features some of the strongest performances of Rod Gator's career so far. Co-produced by longtime collaborator (and son of Emmy-winning composer Snuffy Walden) Will Walden, along with GRAMMY-nominated producer and Black Pumas leader, Adrian Quesada, the album is the first to be tracked at Quesada's new studio, Electric Deluxe Recorders. For Louisiana also features contributions from Gator's longtime drummer, Adam Nurre, and Black Pumas' keyboardist, JaRon Marshall.

Blending Louisiana soul with greasy country-rock, Texas blues and electrified funk, Gator's music doesn't just nod to the American South, it creates its own sonic geography. He channels everything from the dark, cinematic sweep of Los Angeles (where he moved as an 18 year-old actor) to the amplified twang of Austin (his adopted hometown for nearly half a decade), with sharply-written songs that take a hard look at his old stomping grounds in Louisiana. Examining the state's hard-to-love struggles with social justice, political reform and natural disasters, For Louisiana is equal parts love letter to the motherland and rallying cry for cultural progress, delivered by a Bayou State export who's still happy to let his freak flag fly.

Listen here:


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