Isle Dernière is the latest incarnation of Louisiana francophone music. Original songs about life and death, love and heartbreak, the natural and the supernatural, all sung in Louisiana French with intense, powerful vocals howling over a distorted, wah-induced guitar, backed with frenzied drum beats and pounding bass, all accompanied by go-go dancers, will make you suddenly forget about any preconceived notions you may have had about francophone Louisiana. Isle Dernière is an exception to the rule. Their roots lie in classic rock and delta blues, but they don't stop there. Many influences work their way into their music and you'll be taken on a trip from blues, to blues-rock, to garage rock, to surf rock and beyond. Isle Dernière breathes new life into Louisiana French and gives it another reason to live!
Rocky McKeon - acoustic guitar, vocals
A strong defender of Louisiana French, Rocky hails from Robinson Canal, La. He has dedicated himself to reviving Louisiana French. He believes that Louisiana French could eventually be released from the hospital if Louisiana would make the proper diagnosis.
He was a consultant for the Dictionary of Louisiana French and he provided the French translation of the book hearoffact by Karin Eberhardt which was released in September 2008. He has also assisted with multiple research projects at Tulane University and was featured in the September 2007 issue of Point of Vue magazine and in the February 2008 issue of Le Gaboteur.
More recently, he wrote the song and sang on the track "Le grand gosier" which was released on the CD Le grand gosier by Zachary Richard. 100% of the proceeds from the Le grand gosier will help the Louisiana fishermen affected by the oil disaster in the Gulf.
Brian Berry - electric guitar
Musically Brian’s played on and off with various Louisiana bands for the past 18 years. His musical influences come from many different styles like classic rock, hard rock, metal, blues, jazz, funk and Louisiana francophone music.
By learning to speak Louisiana French through music, Brian is paying homage to his ancestors and to the people who made him who he is today. “We have a very unique and exciting heritage here in south Louisiana – the food, the people, the music,” said Brian.
“Why should we stop speaking Louisiana French? I hope that Isle Dernière’s unique style of music can help people — especially younger people — become exposed to our culture. The language is disappearing just like the wetlands are. Let’s not let it slip away.”
Chuck Waguespack - bass, vocals
Chuck has been playing music since an early
age, having learned to play the trumpet in high
school, and learning to play the piano, the
guitar and finally the drums and the bass guitar
during college. He has performed with a
handful of bands in Louisiana throughout his
Chuck believes that Louisiana French would
have a chance to survive if Louisiana's French-speaking
population would actively fight for it.
"Playing bass with Isle Dernière is my way of
reclaiming what is mine," he says.
Nick Person - drums
Nick has always loved the drums when he was a little boy listening to his father's classic rock. When he was 21, he purchased a drumset of his own. His musical influences are varied going from hard rock and metal to reggae, funk, soul and a little hip-hop.
He's released three albums with his former band Id Vs. Ego and he's performed in Canada, the United States and South America. Their final album was released in 2005. He's very proud of his Louisiana heritage and he can get by well in French.
Erin Stickney - dancer
Erin learned go-go dancing thanks to "Hullabaloo," The Pontani Sisters, and Raquel Welch's Space-Girl dance. She is also an original member of Trybe Habibi Bizarre, Lafayette, Louisiana's premier belly-dance group.
Erin has studied classical belly dance, Bollywood, hip-hop, and modern. She fights for Louisiana French by speaking French as much as possible with her family and friends.
Elizabeth Ann - dancer
Elizabeth has been dancing since she was 13 years old. She's studied ballet, modern, tap, and jazz. After adding go-go dancing to her repertoire, it has become one of her favorites.
She has just recently obtained her B.F.A in Performing Arts, concentrating in theatre. Being a part of Isle Derniere has made her realize how important the French language is to her culture, and she has been trying to learn to speak fluently.