It’s fitting you might have caught a glimpse of Alexis & the Samurai's exploits on HBO's Tremé and NBC's The Voice. However, the pair's off-screen efforts that have been earning them many good ratings.
Exiled after having lost everything in hurricane Katrina, Alexis Marceaux has spent the last several years returning home and building up a career from scratch. The meantime has been hard-fought but fruitful, with appearances at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, SXSW, and several tours of the US and Europe. The two 20-somethings initially teamed up for Alexis' sophomore effort Orange Moon (2011). Under the tutelage and engineering of The Polyphonic Spree’s Rick Nelson, the duo drew an all-star cast, 25 of NOLA’s finest musicians of every genre (including Paul Sanchez, Andrew Duhon, "Big Sam" Williams, and many more), for a big, lush, indie-pop opus with a distinct Louisiana flavor. Duo partner and "samurai" Sam Craft, an already-ubiquitous sideman in many outfits around town says "I wanted to tap into all the friends I've made along the way, through playing with my rock band Glasgow and [trad-jazz behemoth] The New Leviathan Oriental Fox-trot Orchestra", both of which had independently achieved great success locally and nationally. "New Orleans musicians have huge hearts and we're grateful for them sharing their talents with us," says Craft.
Marceaux put out her solo release Dandelion in '09, and its songs were picked up by various television shows (MTV's The Real World, E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and others), but with Orange Moon, she’s elevated herself into a "songwriting force to be reckoned with" (No Depression), securing more media placements, as well as rotation in Starbucks cafés and other stores. More recently, Alexis & the Samurai's fanbase has grown through Alexis' performances on The Voice, a primetime phenomenon with weekly viewership in the millions. The duo has been capitalizing on the exposure by taking their multi-instrumental spectacle (strings, guitars, keys, foot percussion, vocal harmonies, often all at once) on the road, including appearances at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and The 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Alexis & the Samurai are due for an EP release in the coming months. According to Marceaux, "Our sound is evolving, we're getting less afraid to be weird and eclectic in the studio, and we want to push the envelope to make music that will be genre-defying so that we can keep showing the world how diverse New Orleans music really is."