Sally Horner O’Neill plays fiddle and guitar, and sings with the band. She hails from Colorado and New Mexico with a few years abroad in Spain, Mexico and Belgium.
She answered the call of an old Vega banjo when she was 15 and became New Mexico Old-time banjo champion — three years in a row.
Sally has delved into Spanish and Flamenco, Swing, and Old-timey music and sings opera on occasion. Sally and her husband of 20 years—fellow musician Steve O’Neill—moved to Montana from New Mexico in 1995 and eventually started the Bebe LeBoeuf Cajun Band.
Eric Lange began his musical career on the western edge of the west coast in the western state of Washington. For the past 30 years he has been playing in various bands through out southwest Montana. The early 80's found him playing banjo in the bluegrass band "Medicine Wheel". From there he advanced up to the country music realm as the guitarist for the "Silver Canyon Band" and the "Cold Coffee Cowboys".
Eric reverted back to banjo to play with the "Coyote Quintet", then spending a year in Japan playing in a bluegrass band whose name he still can't pronounce. Back in Montana he became a founding member of the "Montana Mandolin Society" and quickly learned to play the mandolin. For the past 5 years he has been proud to call himself a member of the LeBoeuf family, adding guitar to the band.
It was one morning, years ago, Steve O'Neill awoke to Cajun music on the radio. "That happy-sounding music put such a smile on my face, " he says, " I knew I just had to learn to play it!" Within a few weeks he had an accordion from Marc Savoy, master accordion maker in Eunice, LA. ...and he's been playing that music ever since. Steve also plays fiddle with the band."I started playing fiddle in college, and man, did it sound bad!" he says, shaking his head. "Imagine how my friends felt when I started playing accordion!"
Steve has played fiddle for years, often for traditional dances. Learning Swing guitar opened up new genre of music for him, which he now also uses to spice up traditional tunes. Playing such a wide variety of music is something he really enjoys. "It is way far removed from the old acapella doo-wop songs I did in high school," he recollects, "but... I have a feeling we may just find a way to fit doo-wop into our Cajun repetoire."
photo credit: Rab Cummins
Bob Knebel started making music in his mid-teens — playing harmonica to country, folk, and blues records in the late 1960s. It led to a love of "roots" music and developed his ear for musical keys, chord changes, and improvising. When Bob started playing the upright bass later in life, he adopted several historical American-made basses (Kays, Epiphone, and American Standards) in the process.
Bob worked alongside Cajuns in Louisiana oil production, but touring with Dennis Stroughmatt (L'Esprit Creole) in the Rocky Mountain region was his first oppportunity playing Cajun music professionally before le grande LeBoeuf adventure. He's also performed with singer-songwriter David Mallett, The David Swanson Trio ( Montana Folk Festival) and the acclaimed Hillbilly Chrome.
Bob enjoys filling in with various bluegrass, old time fiddle, and traditional groups, as well as jamming at festivals. He is a long-time member of the Montana Old Time Fiddlers Association
photo credit: Aaron Pruitt & Scott Sterling
Greg Vallor, consumate musician and drummer extraordinaire, has adopted a new set of percussion in the context of the Bebe LeBoeuf Band: rubboard,
washboard and triangle.
Though he plays numerous styles of music — usually with the traditional "trap set" and gravitating toward Rock & Roll — Greg is exploring new sounds and grooves on these cajun and Zydeco instruments. "Percussion like this transforms what might be simple folk tunes into exciting rhythmic, dancable music" he says. Greg also plays drums for regular shows, in addition to the "traditional" percussion.