Goth? Polka? Only an eclectic recording artist and producer like Veronique Chevalier could pull these two concepts together – and make the marriage work. The woman behind this accordion extravaganza (costumed as Hellga – The Devil’s Beer maid, replete with Viking helmet, braids, a cross-and-skull-boned corset, striped stockings and killer heels), Veronique has taken on the enviable task of making the next big Halloween album. It’s well on its way too: Polka Haunt Us
went down in history as an official selection on the Grammy ballot in the final year the polka category was offered. It’s also receiving airplay on numerous radio stations, both terrestrial and online, included Dr. Demento, who helped launch the career of Weird Al, among others.
Featuring an impressive lineup of artists (and sounds) from around the world, Polka Haunt Us takes on more than just Halloween – it brilliantly explores and retells the scariest mythology from cultures across the globe. Containing 13 songs, each track tells a legend and incorporates the indigenous music. White Witch of Jamaica Polka Reggae is based on that nation’s tale of a white plantation owner who seduced and murdered her slave boys with the Dark Arts. The Norwegian waltz The Fisher Bird Girl is based on the popular story from Norway of a mysterious young woman who morphs into a bird. Blank Face Goblins merges the traditional sounds of Japan with polka to celebrate the mythological creatures of the same name. The album is book-ended by Veronique’s morality tale The Beer Hall in Hell and her delightfully dark Vampire Surprise, a delectable bonus track.
To pull off this globetrotting compilation, Veronique handpicked talent from every corner of the globe. Collaborators include: Alex Meixner, Grammy-nominated composer and accordionist who lent his talent to Full Moon Face Off ; Comedy Central’s Gary Shapiro, who belts out the vocals for the Eastern European Jewish Bubbe’s Dybbuk Polka; Kerry Christensen, long-time Disney vocalist, who yodels for The Beer Hall in Hell ; Actress/singer Marion Ramsey (aka Sgt. Laverne Hooks of the “Police Academy” films); and the Jimi Hendrix of the Violin Lili Haydn seduces us with her strings in After Wife Polka Tango, a song about Eva Perone’s post-mortem preservation.
Quirky, inventive and fiercely original, Veronique Chevalier has recorded, and acted as executive producer, for three full-length albums as well as produced and performed an impressive repertoire of cabaret and Vaudeville presentations. The inspiration for this otherworldly album is rooted in her early years. Born in Fontainebleau, France to a globetrotting, nomadic family, and she attended no less than 13 schools before graduating. Her father, who made his career in the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, was a great lover of music, and it was through his influence that the young future performer learned to embrace to the sounds of many cultures. From writing lyrics to developing new marketing strategies, to vocalizing and improv, to designing her own costumes and album art, her capacity for creative output – not to mention the actual content – is inspiring. Veronique Chevalier won The Unanimous Choice Award for Best Independent Cabaret Artist by the Los Angeles Music Awards for her work on Cabaret4Choice.
Submitted by Dustin Clendenen