POINTE COUPEE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres was a bit of an artist in high school. He painted, and still does. He also played music; the trumpet in high school and the horn in the band. But when his law enforcement career started at 19, he put one of his crafts down. Now, 30 years later, he's getting back in touch with his creative side and making a name for himself down south.
"There's another side to me, when I'm not working," said Torres, as he pulled out his newly purchased guitar. "My craft here, my hobby."
Last year, the sheriff started thinking about his bucket list. He says there was one thing that he wanted to cross off.
"I always had an interest in the guitar, but couldn't get a left-handed guitar," he said. But in October, he bought one. It had been 30 years since he had played an instrument.
He says he taught himself to play at night, sitting in the kitchen of his house.
"People that don't know that side of, they're pretty shocked," he said. But those he grew up with, he says, are not surprised.
Grand Isle, Louisiana is his unofficial single. Torres says he took it to Grand Isle for people to hear, and then it got on the radio stations there. Now it's being played in Houma and New Roads. It's the only song he's released, the rest of his songs, for a future cd, are a work in progress.
"14 or 15 so far. Some are pretty good. Keep writing, developing my skill."
His sound, he says is like the old delta blues. Each song has a tie to something or someone from Louisiana.
There's a song about an old sheriff in Pointe Coupee in the early 1900's. The ballad talks about him going to pick up a prisoner. When they meet, the incarcerated man asks, "Sheriff, I heard you killed 100 men." As Torres sings the song, "He said boy that ain't true, it was only 27."
Torres says his brother-in-law challenged him to write a song about the Mississippi River.
"He said it's beautiful, it's big. The mighty Mississippi. You should be writing about that. So I said okay."
There's also a song for his wife's 99-year-old grandfather, about when he was dating his wife's grandmother.
"He said boy that was a long way to go from Maringouin to Fordoche. And it was just eating my mind. So I wrote a song about it."
Torres says his new hobby is like therapy after dealing with law enforcement all day, every day. This craft allows him to connect with people, so they can see he too is a regular person.
"I'm not quitting my day job," he said.
He's sent a few songs to a friend in Tennessee, who he says is a Grammy award winning songwriter. Torres says he's gotten good feedback.
He's still working on songs so he can put out a cd.