Ernie Payne was an African American musician from Louisiana’s Acadia Parish. His family was large and everyone learnt early to pitch in and help with chores and household duties. Their strict, religious, hardworking ethic thought ‘music’ essential to a quality life, but hardly something to pursue as a way to earn a living.
“Somebody singing is my first memory. Music celebrated and music mourned. Everybody in my family loved some kind of music and they shared it with me. My music attempts to carry on that idea of brotherhood and sharing.”
At the core of almost every song are Payne’s vocals which are extremely strong, yet soothing. The stories told in the songs are intimate and visual and as he is singing he makes the listener feel as if he is talking to them personally, directly and one on one. Ernie’s debut CD (Coercion Street) was released on Black and Tan Records in April 2004. The record was played all over the world and it got rave reviews in among other BLUES WAX and BLUES REVUE. During his European tours Ernie visited Holland, France, Ireland, Belgium and the UK. He was invited to do several support shows for ROBERT PLANT both in the UK and the USA.
Ernie spend almost his entire life on writing and improving his songs. He always dreamed of performing and touring and just when this finally started to happen, his health didn’t allow him to do it very long. It was really sad that he got sick and was not able to travel anymore. Ernie died in September, 2007.
Ernie’s Bio in his own words:
“I was born in Louisiana, U.S.A. Raised in Evangeline Parish and East Texas. Late blooming baby boomer, nurtured by godfearing baptists and creole catholics and the powerful fun of the second line drum. I’m trying to serve the blackness well.”