Created October 1, 1996. Last updated 09-01-07 @ 11:00 p.m. CST
(Disclaimer: I've had people write and criticize me for not having "so and so" mentioned on this page. Well, just cause that artist might be a favorite of someone else does not mean I love them, or vice versa for that matter. I have way too many favorites to list each and every one on this page. So, please don't yell at me if someone you like isn't on here. It's cause either I don't like them or I just didn't list them!)
The following is a small tribute to Cajun French Music and it's fine musicians with my own personal comments. I wish I could list every Cajun French Musician I have ever listened to, but it's next to impossible -- as I do believe I've been enjoying this music since I was too young to even know what I was listening to :-) -- and it would take FOREVER to do so! :-) I feel like it actually runs through my veins instead of blood :-) I am not of my Cajun parents' blood as I was adopted, but I claim to be Cajun through and through (I was born here in Louisiana but in "north LA", soo......I don't know what my heritage really is!). So many people ask, "What is a Cajun?" Well, there are MANY answers to this, but I think the late great musician/radio/TV personality, Johnny Janot said it best in his "I'm Proud To Be A Cajun" recording. Whether I am a Cajun naturally or artificially, I am PROUD to be a Cajun (and it is my strong desire that my children will one day feel the same way I do and keep the traditions going). I always have and always will love everything that goes along with being a Cajun and/or living here in LA, but the music, in my opinion, is the most special of all. I only wish that all of you out there, who have never had the pleasure to enjoy our kind of music, could just sit, watch, and listen to a Cajun band perform! It's absolutely the best in my opinion. Each and every band has their own style and are so unique -- from the legendary performers like Aldus Roger, Belton Richard, Joe Bonsall, Lawrence Walker, Blackie Forestier, Austin Pitre, Allen Thibodeaux, Nathan Abshire, and Iry LeJeune to the great music artists of today, there is no finer music in the world.....and here are just a few examples of Cajun French Musicians and their talents.....
In case you don't notice, I'm an accordion fanatic, as well as a two-step fanatic! Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the other instruments in Cajun bands, and I adore them, too. I just happen to love the accordion best of all (with the steel always having a special place in my heart), so much so that I could listen to just an accordion player without backup and not get bored :-) Then again, there is nothing like a darn good band! :-) MOF, it's the combination of instruments that make the band a band :-)
The Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band: I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Daigrepont and his band in person as yet, but I can tell you they are totally excellent!!!! I have all four of their CDs :-) Their talents shine through ever so brightly in these favorites of mine! They perform regularly at Tipitina's (uptown) in New Orleans :-) He's definitely an ace on that accordion and one of my very favorites :-) One of these days, I will make it to Tipitina's.....and be in heaven :-)
Steve Riley and the
Mamou Playboys: I have not had the pleasure of seeing this
extremely talented band in person (see
updates below), but they are absolutely great on the CDs I
own. (I have all eight they have out, one being a live version!!) I was first
introduced to this band in 1993 (when I broke down and bought a new stereo with
CD changer to get with the changing times) and I found one of their CDs (their
classic first CD) in a local store. I was hooked immediately!!!!! Steve Riley is
just the bomb on the accordion, and I go nuts when a two step comes on (and most
of the waltzes are absolutely beautiful and bring tears to my eyes)! He is just
really awesome--I can't put into words what he does with the accordions he
plays, but it definitely is special and unique. It just mesmerizes me; and that
voice of his is so golden. SRMP puts their hearts and souls into their talents
-- you can actually hear it when they play!!!!! I have so many favorites off the
first six CDs but only a few on the last two in comparison. (There are a
couple of songs on
these that I just have to skip--yes, I am really stuck in
the traditional mode even though I have a fairly diverse taste in music--nuff
said.) It's pretty safe to say there are more I love than not (see *partial*
list below)! I could sit here for 24 hours and talk about how much I love this
band, but I digress (or I'll never leave this alone). In all of my years growing
up listening to Cajun music, they are, by far, one of the best :-) One of these
days.....I hope to see and hear them in person! (I've missed a few chances
already due to working when they were in Lake Charles!)
**MUSIC UPDATES** **SRMP PLUS PHOTOS** **HOT SRMP VIDEOS**
(See my Hot Links section below for more details on this internationally-known, multi-talented, multi-award-winning, and three-time Grammy-nominated group!)
Lawrence Walker & The Wandering Aces: Mr. Walker is a true legend if there ever was one and is a huge favorite of mine. Not only could he play that accordion with such heart and soul, he could belt out tunes with such a beautiful voice.
Belton Richard & The Musical Aces: Mr. Richard is my ultimate favorite legendary French musician. When I was just 18, I met him for the first time at a dance hall in Iowa, LA, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven :-) That was a long time ago, and he continues to be one of my favorites! By the by, this was a birthday gift from my dad -- I had been longing for that day to come so I could "really" dance with my dear dad -- he used to get on his knees to dance with me when I was a little kid. I only wish he were still here to dance with me again!!!! Mr. Richard was one of my dad's favorite French musicians as well. One of Belton's drummers was Ray Lavergne (ironically, the name of my godfather!), and I wonder if there is a distant relation here. (My dad played the steel guitar many years before my time (with "Happy Fats" to name one and Joe Falcon & A.J. Benoit to name more), and how I love the steel! I understand there were recordings made with my dad featured on the steel!!! I only wish I knew where I could find them (searches are nil), as I never heard him play! I do have some recordings of Happy Fats on CD, but I just don't know if that's my dad on steel or not :-( Dad told me he had to give up the music life--my mom gave him an ultimatum--music and that kind of life or family! I was never allowed to know what really went on in those days, but I can imagine! What I can't imagine is that my dad was ever like that! *lol* He always told me he'd tell me the whole story when I grew up, but he always avoided it! I found it ironic, though, that my mom was dating another musician (a swamp-pop singer) prior to meeting my dad *grin*)
The Sundown Playboys: There is big time history here. This band was founded by Lionel Cormier who died on stage in Lake Charles in 1971 while performing. His son, Lesa Cormier, is the leader and drummer of this group. Homer LeJeune was the accordion player for this band for 15 years (he left to form his own band), and what a fantastic accordion player he is! In my book, he's right up there with Steve Riley :-) I'm proud to know him personally :-) His sister is one of my most favorite people in the world :-) I've never seen him perform in person, but I have heard him over the radio and seen him on vintage TV :-) Homer was recently a Cajun radio show deejay here in town every Saturday morning. You can find out a bit of info through this link, this one, and this one, which includes pictures of Homer. Their releases include:
- Creole Stomp -- WOW! This is a firey two step! I don't know why this is called Creole Stomp, because it's actually "Bayou Noir", but.....Homer does a fantastic job on it.
- Elton Two Step -- Another fine two step!
- Homer's Two Step -- Excellent! Homer sets the accordion on fire with his own two-step! This makes me nearly pass out cold *grin* Man alive, Homer is HOTTER THAN HELL on here! Whew!
Jackie Caillier & The Cajun Cousins: I am so impressed with this multi-award winning group. Jackie is from Orange, Texas, and is a definite ace on that accordion. I'm especially impressed with the fact that they have a steel guitar player, who is Danny Cormier from Lake Charles (and who happens to be the son of Lesa Cormier and grandson of Lionel Cormier). They are the most traditional Cajun band I've heard in many years!!!! Now, I wish they'd come to this area!!!! (UPDATE: I was finally able to find one CD (Authentic Cajun Music) and got it in today, July 21, 2004, and I cannot describe how I feel. There are 17 songs on the track list, and all of them are out of this world! Jackie is a definite demon on the accordion and has a great voice, and Danny on that steel is unbelievable. This is authentic Cajun dance hall music at its best, IMO. I'm in HEAVEN!!!! :-) UPDATE: The more I listen, the more I sit in complete AWE! I've recently had contact with Jackie, and the five CDs listed above are on their way here! I can't wait!!!!! I've been invited to go and see them play, and I'm planning to do that ASAP! UPDATE: I got the rest of my CDs in on Monday, the 27, and all I can say is WOW!) Their CDs are:
- The Gravel Road -- This is just so sad and brings me to tears.
- Black Top The Gravel Road -- I love this. Once again the accordion and steel knock me over!
- Falcon Stomp -- I come completely unglued and lose my mind on this one! Man alive, Jackie definitely smokes here! WOW! Strange thing is, my ears tell me this sounds like Creole Stomp :-)
- Going Out Two-Stepping Tonight -- This is HOT!
- Caillier Special -- This is another one where Jackie sets his accordion on fire! Whew!
- La Valse De KLFY
- Cajun Cousin Special -- Whew!
- The Old Man
- Dancing Little Man -- Call the fire department *grin* Whew!
- Little Short Pants -- Another sad one!
- Play That Song Again
- Give Her My Part of Heaven
- After Loving You
- Put Your Hand In Mine
- La Poussiere Breakdown
- Borrowed Love
- Open The Door
- Shamrock Two Step
- Andrew Cormier Special
- It Won't Be So Easy
- French Blues
- La Acadian Two Step -- Whew!
- Dans les Bon Vieux Jours
- Mom, Je Suis Toujours Ton Petit Garcon
- La Bouille de Peau de Lapin (Step It Fast) -- Wow!
- Tits' Yeux Noir
- Pine Grove Blues
- Les Special des Wandering Aces
- Biggest Fool In The World
- When They Ask About You
- Don't Bury Me
- La Valse Heritage
- Love Sick Waltz
- My Turn Will Come
- Can't Change The Past
- Mama's Waltz
- Five Minutes With You
- Black Sock Two Step
- Lost Memory Two Step
- Grand Night Special
Jamie Bergeron & The Kickin' Cajuns: The little bit I've heard recently from this group has just impressed me to no end, for the most part. My order to Floyd's for their three CDs will go out soon. There is just no better song out right now than "Shake It, Shake It, Baby!' Even though it's an English song, it's just too awesome! Visit their website to learn all about them. I'm also impressed with the fact that Jamie is an EMT/paramedic. His bio is quite impressive!
Moe-D: This band is really pretty awesome!
Joe Simon & The Louisiana Cajuns: I had the pleasure of meeting this local band every Thursday evening for a time at one of our local Cajun restaurants. Joe's motto is "Keep It Cajun." I truly value that and hope others will adopt that motto; otherwise, my fears will come true that traditional Cajun bands will eventually become extinct :-( I bought their CD as soon as it was released (2002), and it's pretty darn good. This band is best described as "an authentic Cajun dance band", and I can surely understand why after listening to them quite a few times. One can always find them playing on weekends somewhere in the Lake Charles area or Southeast Texas.
Don Fontenot et Les Amis De La Louisiane: I met this band last night (8/19/06) at Wayne and Layne's and had only been privy to a few songs of theirs via KLCL radio before. I tell you, they are pretty awesome. Man, that Don Fontenot can play one mean accordion. If it weren't for the title track of their newest CD and the fact that they played another really stupid song, Vibrator, I wouldn't have one thing to complain about *lol* Visit their website for more info, bios, and etc.
Jambalaya Cajun Band: I have not had the pleasure of seeing these guys in person, but I have on local television. They have a style all their own, and they are EXCELLENT!!!!!
Wayne Toups and ZydeCajun: Wayne is well known for his talents varying back and forth between the traditional Cajun beat and Zydeco to Louisiana Swamp Pop, and he is excellent (a classic in his own right)!!!! Check him out at Wayne Toups. There is NOBODY like Wayne, and he is the king at what he does!
Damon Troy and Louisiana Beat: Damon Troy was introduced to me through my daughters. They adored him. They had seen him in action many times in this area. You can find out more about him at damontroy.com. My personal opinion is that he tries to copy Wayne Toups (MOF, there's one song on the first CD that everyone mistakes for W.T. when it starts, including my one daughter who absolutely loved Damon! *grin*)! Their CDs are Damon Troy, Blowin Like A Hurricane, and What Next. See my update page to see what happened at one of his gigs on 10/31/05 :-( I refuse to support him anymore!!
That Butt Thing -- Okay, I must be honest here and say how much I hated this song when I first heard it and would turn off the radio each time it came on; HOWEVER, my oldest daughters just freaked out over this song and forced me to fall for it *lol* Now, when it comes on, I turn it up as loud as can be :-) I gotta order some CDs soon! (UPDATE: I finally found this CD (it was always OOS). I ordered it Saturday night and got it yesterday (7/20/04). Damn, I done gone and wore it out *lol* I am not big on Zydeco, but I must say this is one HOTTER THAN HELL recording! Horace does la pointe aux pins Zydeco style, and I LOVE IT! It's just so awesome! We have also already worn out Uncle Bud, That Butt Thing, and The Monkey and the Baboon! Oh God! If those don't get you going, you're just numb or dead, one of the two *lol* Awesome!!!!!!)
Kevin Naquin & The Ossun Playboys: I was introduced to this band in early 2003. Kevin is pretty mean on the accordion, and he sings pretty darn good, too. I only have three CDs so far. Hopefully, I will order the other one soon (it's only available through their website--I've tried ordering twice before with no luck). As soon as I get the one CD, I'll update this list with more of my favorites. (UPDATE: Kevin wrote and informed me that he can't get the CD right now. So, I'm outta luck! UPDATE: I was browsing around Floyd's Record Shop late Saturday night (10/16/04) and found that third CD, as well as a brand new one. I immediately ordered them and got them in yesterday, 10/19/04. If you are looking for the best service around, visit Floyd's! I'm very impressed with both CDs except for one song on the new one...named in French but sung in English! What is up with that?! I'm also highly impressed with the fact that the band has a new member and that girl is out of there! I did not like her singing on their fourth CD at all!)
Filé: I have three CDs by this group, but I only really enjoyed two of them.
Sean Vidrine & Swampfyre: I had the pleasure of seeing Sean perform with SRMP on February 14, 2004, and my God, he was just out of this world. I spoke to him after SRMP were done, and I told him so. WOW! He played two songs, and I was just about to fall off the stool! He definitely puts his heart and soul into that accordion and definitely left me wanting MORE! I plan to see and hear more of this group. Visit their website!
Richard LeBouef and Two Step: I had told myself I was NOT going to buy any CDs from these guys cause of that stupid "Who Stole My Monkey" recording (which is one of the most ridiculous "songs" I've ever heard), but I broke down and bought two CDs anyway. The other stuff I've heard from them was just too good, and Richard is awesome on the accordion. Thank God, that stupid recording is NOT on these CDs :-)
Michael Doucet and Beausoleil:
le band Passe Partout: The first time I was introduced to this band was at our biparish annual fair in 1994. I was miserably tired (8 months pregnant), so I sat to listen to the band prior to Passe Partout. I immediately forgot how tired I was -- as soon as these guys came on stage!! Percy Boudreaux, Jr., 18 at the time, is the accordion player, and what a sight he is. I was totally and completely amazed with him! He's a Randy Travis look alike, for one, but the most amazing thing is how he puts his whole heart and soul into his talents -- and at such a young age! I ended up buying both of their CDs!!!!! I was highly impressed!!!!!!!!!
D. L. Menard & The Musical Aces:
John DeLafose and The Eunice Playboys:
Mamou: So far, I have only heard one song I absolutely love from this band.
Wagonwheel Special -- WOW! This is just awesome!
Bayou Roux: I just found this band this morning (01/05/04) while surfing around, and I was pretty darn impressed with their website and their Cajun music clips. They are in Texas now, but most of the band is originally from Louisiana. They do a mixture like Wayne Toups and Damon Troy, and they are extremely good. Their Cajun tunes are really awesome, and Keith Dupuis is awesome on that accordion!!! I'll be ordering their CDs real soon :-)
Bayou Roux -- In the meantime, check out their website. It's great!
Hunter Hayes: I'm extremely impressed with this young man's accordion talent. He has been playing since he was two years old and is still just a youngster now. I love him in The Apostle! His recordings, though, are a mixture of Cajun songs with English songs. Listen to the clips at his site. His CDs include:
Waylon Thibodeaux: -- I was introduced to Waylon's own recordings in early 2003 even though I have been listening to his fiddle playing through Bruce Daigrepont! He is really awesome. I have four of his CDs, but I really only like two of them :-(
La Touche': La Touche' is a five man band from the New Orleans area, headed by Wilson Touchet, who is an ace on that accordion, who perform regularly at Mulate's Restaurant and Flamingo Casino in New Orleans, among others!!!!
Louisiana Swamp Pop
Here are just a few examples of excellent Louisiana Swamp Pop (some of my favorites) -- kinda country yet kinda rock with a Louisiana touch!
Deuce Of Hearts On Line: Gary and Travis T. have been together since 1988 and offer an award-winning array of music. Visit their website for more information.
Tommy McLain: Tommy is still swamp popping, but he is also the host of Movin' To Heaven on Radio Maria each Wednesday evening from 5:00-6:00 CST in Alexandria, Louisiana, on radio KOJO 91.7 FM out of Lake Charles, Louisiana. I've heard the show several times, and he's fabulous :-) I can still see Tommy performing each morning on Passe Partout (Jim Olivier's show in Lafayette). What memories!!!! You can also find out more through his website :-)
Cookie and the Cupcakes:
Charles Mann: A local musician from Lake Charles -- our neighbors across the river!
Louisiana Rock 'n Roll
Louisiana's Le Roux: My music page was not complete without the addition of Louisiana's own -- Le Roux. I can never say enough about this great group. IMO, their music is a combination of rock, Swamp Pop, and country which creates a special style known only to Le Roux. Their music is a unique style that **is** Louisiana. I love the acapella flare in a lot of their recordings. IMO, no others do it better than Le Roux!!!! To learn more about this fantastic group, visit their website, Louisiana's Le Roux! These are just a few of my favorite Le Roux recordings off their first album:
Jazz....New Orleans Style
Under this category, the ultimate is Louis Armstrong -- what else can I say?! His "What a Wonderful World" just can't be beat! Listen to the midi version!!
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