Rockin’ feel-good tunes for the last eight years as Lafayette’s go-to party ensemble, The Robbie Bush Band grooves Downtown Alive! one final time this week before throwing in the towel and calling it quits. But fret not, fans: This doesn’t necessarily mean the end.

The band as it is now—covering music of past and present at private functions like weddings and Mardi Gras balls—opted to drop the cover band gig and take on a new façade of original material, work that will touch on everything from rock and “Louisiana rock” (as Bush described it), to country, Motown, jazz and Big Band jazz music.

“If you put all of that on one CD, it would probably confuse people,” Bush jokes, but that’s precisely the kind of versatility that’s made The Robbie Bush Band so popular. With a typical set list boasting anything from Manhattan Transfer to Alicia Keys, the 14-piece harmony- and horn-driven collective’s original work will draw upon these influences, and Bush is looking to take this new project beyond the comforts of home.

“I’m really hoping that the original material will be received well enough to be able to move into some of those directions—South By Southwest, some of the festivals that are around us here and around the country—and be able to perform original material and have it accepted,” Bush says. “You can have a great cover band. If people don’t really like your original material it doesn’t really matter.”

With more than four decades of playing music under his belt, it seems fair to say that Bush will hold a steady hand in his future endeavors—especially with the backing of his local fan base, a band he considers “one of the hardest working, most talented group of team players that [he’s] ever worked with,” and plans to work with multiple Grammy-winning music engineer Tony Daigle at Maurice’s Dockside Studios.

Bush hopes to finish recording the new material by the summer’s end.

“I’m a huge believer in Lafayette and Downtown Alive! and in Downtown Lafayette,” he says. Return the love and bid The Robbie Bush Band adieu this Friday at Parc International.

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