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Tom Rigney

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Biography

Fiddler Tom Rigney has contributed more than a quarter-of-a-century to roots music in San Francisco. After graduating from Harvard with a Masters in fine arts, he went on to play the fiddle for a band named Back in the Saddle. That stint brought him a Bammie (Bay Area Music Award) in the early '80s, thanks to his performance on the group's first album. The band independently issued one of Rigney's compositions, "Time & Again," which became a regional hit. When Back in the Saddle folded, Rigney moved on to Queen Ida & the Bon Temps Zydeco Band. While touring with the group, he came to fully appreciate the music of Louisiana, specifically zydeco, Cajun, and some sounds of New Orleans. He took his new appreciation for Louisiana's music to his next venture, a band called the Sundogs that teamed Rigney with T.J. Politzer and Joe Paquin. Rigney and the Sundogs put out more than half-a-dozen albums and spent more than a dozen years together. They took their mixture of blues, Cajun, and roots music to stages and festivals throughout the U.S., as well as in Europe and Canada. Upon leaving the Sundogs, Rigney pulled together a new outfit, Flambeau. The band consists of guitarist Danny Caron, accordionist and pianist Caroline Dahl, drummer Jimmy Sanchez, and bassist Steve Parks. Rigney composes most of the band's music, but Flambeau also plays several of the old zydeco and Cajun favorites. In addition to recording with his bands, Rigney also has a solo effort to his credit. Chasing the Devil was released in 1998 by Parhelion. Rigney, son of the late San Francisco Giants infielder and manager Bill Rigney, was raised in the Bay Area.

Genre
Years Active:

'90s, '00s

Contemporaries