Peyton Falgoust, gigging since 13
Published 1:17 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023
GARYVILLE — Today, Peyton Falgoust holds the “Best in the River Parishes” titles for Best Musician, Best Male Vocalist, Best House/Cover Band and Best Local Band following a vote among the public. His love of music began more than 20 years ago, when he saw Elvis Presley on television for the first time at only 3 years old.
He was entranced by Elvis’ movies and musical style, and he was devastated a few years later when his parents finally broke the news to him that the musical great had passed away decades prior.
By then, Falgoust was well on his way to developing his own musical talent with help from his grandmother, Francis Falgoust, who sang in church and taught him how to change chords on a guitar.
Falgoust took guitar lessons on and off from ages 9 to 14. He was 13 years old when he secured his first gig after receiving a call from Mike Faucheux while at a softball tournament in Garyville.
“He wanted some background guitar music for a wine tasting held at the Grapevine in LaPlace,” Falgoust recalled. “I was just playing guitar at the time. I never wanted to sing until I was about 18. Once people started asking me to play at events, I knew they would need vocals as well.”
Every song request turned Falgoust over to a new style of music. He became a student of each genre, with a desire to learn why songs were produced a certain way. Over time, his blues and rock n’ roll repertoire grew to include influences from country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and other genres.
By the time Falgoust was 18, he was playing solo gigs at festivals, weddings and corporate events. However, there were many occasions where he played in duos, trios and larger groups, especially through “Bank jam” sessions in historic Garyville.
“I’ve always loved playing with other people. That’s the best kind of practice you can get,” Falgoust said.
Historic Garyville continued to be a prime spot for jam sessions as Falgoust combined his musical pursuits with efforts for historic preservation. In 2014, he founded the annual Sings & Strings Jam Fest, bringing hundreds of musicians together along Historic Front and Museum Streets.
The event, which also features craft vendors and a cook-off, is intended to give musicians of all ages and backgrounds the confidence they need to play with others while raising money for Garyville’s historic district. Efforts initially focused on the restoration of the Garyville Timbermill Museum but have since expanded to support all of the town’s vintage landmarks that have formed core memories for generations of residents.
Falgoust said his River Parishes upbringing and endless support from his family have helped him along the way.
“My family was always pro me playing music. They would drive me to gigs when I couldn’t drive myself. When I wanted to save up birthday money for years to buy a nice new guitar, they never tried to tell me what I should be spending my money on,” Falgoust said.
Today, Falgoust leads the Peyton Falgoust Band and performs across Southeast Louisiana and into Mississippi while balancing a career in insurance. Among those by his side are Regina Kates, a classically trained fiddle player who brings a unique flair to the band and manager Jerry Christopher, who is also outstanding on bass.
“I never feel like there is any stress involved. It’s a great feeling to have close friends on stage. We are working for the same goal, and seeing the awards, it’s a huge accomplishment for me and the group,” Falgoust said.
Falgoust is recently engaged, and his plans for 2023 in addition to planning a wedding include growing his band’s brand recognition. This will include producing original music for streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
After winning four categories in Best of the River Parishes, he knows the community has his back every step of the way.
“It really boosts your confidence up tremendously,” he said. “As a musician, you are always wondering what people are thinking about what you’re doing. To know that many people are behind me in this area I call home makes it feel like all the work I’ve been doing really pays off.”