Fred Domulot keeps the spirit of Fat Tuesday alive all summer long with the help of his band Fais Do-Do and Destin’s HarborWalk Village. Pronounced FEY-DOH-DOH, the phrase is synonymous with Cajun dance parties and the authentic Zydeco spirit Domulot embraces.
Six years ago, Domulot started the Village Brass Band and saw an opportunity to expand to the feel good music of the bayou. “When I lived in South Florida, I played in a lot of Cajun-Zydeco bands,” says Domulot. “It was a cool thing to be a part of with the crawfish festivals down there.
“We decided to put one together (in Destin). We were doing different projects, and this one seemed like a natural fit—Chris Nida, Teddy Lehmann, Doug Dickerson and Sean Dietrich, that’s the original Fais Do-Do band.”
The band took shape in January 2017, playing their first full-fledged gig as part of Seaside’s Mardi Gras celebration a month later. “That’s where it took off,” says Domulot.
Although Domulot and his band members all play in other projects in the area, they love honoring the heart of Zydeco.
“When the HarborWalk season started up, I couldn’t be in two places at once with the brass band,” he says. “That’s when we got D.J. (Rhodes), a former student of mine at Florida State (to drum).”
Fais Do-Do often has guest players, but Domulot calls the lineup a no-brainer after Nida, Lehmann, and Dickerson joined. The trio can be seen in bands throughout the region, but are perhaps best known as Something Fishy. The Fais Do-Do lineup also officially includes fiddle player Patti Easton.
Dietrich is often seen on stage with an accordion or melodica, while Lehmann plays a washboard that truly brings Cajun traditions to life.
“Good music, when you hear it, you can’t stay still,” says Domulot. “It will get you dancing like that. I’ve seen people at HarborWalk, and they look like they’ve been there all day, tired and hot, and when the band starts—they are smiling. It’s groove infectious.”
Follow the band on Facebook.