Welcome to "Cajun Corner".

The main reason for my first visit to Louisiana was purely musical. I wanted to experience the atmosphere of those Cajun-songs in their original environment. During my visit also the interest in the whole Cajun-culture grew. Although their ancestors had a hard time, the Cajuns are a proud and optimistic folk. This site is made to promote that great music from Southwest Louisiana's "Cajun Country". On the Cajun Corner, you'll find information about Cajun, Zydeco & Swamp Pop music from in and outside Louisiana.
Laissez les bons temps rouler !
Don't hesitate to contact me…
Cajun Corner

To all citizens from in and around South Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama : I wish you a lot of strength and I’m praying Katrina won’t make too much damage.
Take care!

Added : 8 29, 2005
Cajun Fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux dies at age 71

A good friend, Frantic Franky, informed me Cajun fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux died on friday August 12 at the age of 71 after a long battle with diabetes.
Rufus worked with legends ranging from Bob Wills to Neil Young. Born in Ridge, La., Thibodeaux began playing fiddle at age 12 and found national fame after Jimmy C. Newman heard him performing at a South Louisiana nightclub. Thibodeaux played on many of Newman's most famous recordings, including his first major hit, 1952's "Cry, Cry Darling," and 1970's "Lache Pas la Patate," the first single sung in Cajun French to be certified gold. Thibodeaux spent much of his career working with Newman, including countless performances on the Grand Ole Opry, but his exuberant fiddling style also prompted invitations to record or tour with a wide variety of artists, including Lefty Frizzell, Jim Reeves, Carol Channing, George Jones and Hank Williams Jr. Thibodeaux's work was introduced to a rock audience when he appeared on Neil Young's 1978 album, Comes a Time. The two musicians reunited in 1985 on Young's country album, Old Ways, and Thibodeaux subsequently toured as a member of Young's band, the International Harvesters. A memorial service will be held Tuesday (Aug. 16) at Mount Olivet Funeral Home in Nashville.
Rest in peace, Rufus!

Added : 8 16, 2005
Eddie Shuler passes away

Founder and owner of Goldband Records, Eddie Shuler Sr. passed away at age 92, on Saturday in a hospital in Atlanta, GA.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, July 27th at Johnson's Funeral Home in Lake Charles beginning at 10:00am

Eddie Shuler was born 27 March 1913 in Wrightsboro, Texas. Although born across the border in Texas, Eddie has made his name as an integral part of the Louisiana music scene. He was the founder and owner of the Lake Charles-based record label, Goldband, one of the state's most important record labels. He was the producer of the first Zydeco record, Paper in My Shoe by Boozoo Chavis, in 1942. He also co-wrote Bon Ton Roula with Clarence Garlow (1950), now a recognised classic and staple of most Louisiana bands.

In 1943 he became a member of the traditional Cajun band the Hackberry Ramblers, but left two years later to open a record store. He set up Goldband and one of his mainstays was the legendary Cajun, Iry LeJeune. During the 1950s and '60s, he produced many influential recordings by Freddie Fender, Rockin' Sydney, Katie Webster, Jimmy C. Newman, Juke Boy Bonner and Cookie and the Cupcakes among others. Unfortunately, the quality of Goldband's output was not reflected in the charts. The only Goldband single to enter the Billboard Top 100 was "Sugar Bee" by Cleveland Crochet, which peaked at # 80 in 1961. But many Shuler productions were local or regional hits.

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Added : 7 25, 2005
Bayou Saulieu (a film by Jean-Pierre Bruneau)

Here’s a new DVD-jewel from Jean-Pierre Bruneau. “Bayou Saulieu” is a documentary about the yearly Cajun & Zydeco festival in Saulieu (Burgundy), France.
After a short funny introduction on “How to dance Zydeco”, being taught by Gary Hayman, a Zydeco dance instructor, we already have a big highlight in the beginning of the DVD with Geno Delafose & French Rocking Boogie playing that wonderful (Johnnie Allan-) version of Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land”. Geno’s vocals and accordion playing are really amazing!
Jean-Michel Evrard let us hear some real fine country-blues from the bayou with his dobro. Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys have the dancers with them, while playing their own fine “Bon Rêve” (written by their guitar player Sam Broussard). The jam sessions, on the streets and terraces of Saulieu, shown here, are very high quality! WONDERFUL!!!
C.J. Chenier (with his Red Hot Louisiana Band) plays a nice bluesy ballad on his big Baldoni piano-accordion. Pain d’Maïs (with Eric Martin) is another living proof that Cajun music can be played very well in Europe as well. Roy Carrier & the Night Rockers bring their Zydeco version of the classic “Jambalaya” and Clifton Chenier’s “I’m A Hog For You Baby”. Legendary old-time Cajun band “The Hackberry Ramblers” receive a well-deserved big round of applause, during their gig, as always played with a maximum of enthusiasm. Jo-El Sonnier demonstrates his wild, but technical accordion style on “J’étais Au Bal”.
Some other nice European acts are following with Blue Bayou, River Zydeco Band, Bélisaire and Zydecomotion and the crazy atmosphere is complete at a big jam session while playing Nathan Abshire’s “Pop Corn Blues”. Gérard Delafose (Geno’s younger nephew) shows the musical talent in the family is complete. John Delafose really can be proud up there in heaven! The documentary close out with a picture of the late Hackberry Rambler Johnny Faulk. This great film was made in memoriam of this legendary double bass player from the Hackberry Ramblers, the more than legendary oldest band in the world.
This film is very well done and gives a great impression of that great festival coming up in France again in August (including Bruce Daigrepont and Dexter Ardoin!)…
See the link for the complete program!

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Added : 7 7, 2005
a mail from Roger (Cleoma's Ghost) about Leo Abshire

Here's an e-mail I received from Roger (from the traditional Cajun band "Cleoma's Ghost"), with an experience he had after visiting Leo Abshire... (on the photo you see Buffy and Roger with Leo Abshire at Leo's & Zula's home in Gueydan)

hi yves,
it's roger from cleoma's ghost, we sent you a cd earlier this year and you wrote a nice review on your website about it. i grew very close to leo. i considered him a good friend as well as teacher. sad, we have lost one of our elders. here's something we recently wrote to send to his wife zula as a bit of a testimony. i hope you are well....
We were all charged up. Visiting with our “new best friends” from Gueydan, Leo and Zula Abshire. Playing music, eating Garfish, playing some more music…..drinking some beer. It was a great time and we piled into our rental car for the long journey back to Henderson Swamp. On the outskirts of the town of Gueydan we experienced every Yankee’s greatest fear, we were pulled over by one of Gueydan’s finest. The officer came over to the car and asked for the usual, “driver’s license and registration, Please”. I knew some time had passed since my last beer, but of course now I was afraid, being a stranger in a strange land. I asked the cop where I should find the registration, as it was a rental car and couldn’t remember the logistics of rental car registration particulars. “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I was really at a loss, I didn’t make any strange maneuvers with the car, I thought I had used all the proper signals……he continued, “You were going 35 miles an hour in a 30 miles per hour zone”……The cop was all business….it certain wasn’t a light hearted moment until……..He continued: “Where y’all coming from? Y’all are a long ways from home”. Buffy said, “we were just playing music with our good friend Leo Abshire”. And with that, truly she had spoken the magic words. Said the cop, “Leo Abshire, no shit…” and all of a sudden our situation had remarkably shifted…He smiled and said, “Y’all be safe now.” And we continued on our way.

Also visit Phil Underwood's website (2nd link) for tribute, soundclip and photo of Leo Abshire!

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Added : 6 5, 2005
Leo Abshire passed away

Very sad news from Cajun Country. Leo Abshire, a great fiddle player, fiddle builder, fiddle teacher and a wonderful man, has passed away this week at age 72, due to a cancer he has been fighting for the last few years. He played with many other great cajun artists, such as Joe Bonsall, Aldus Roger, DL Menard, Eddie LeJeune, etc. and he was cousin of Ray and Nathan Abshire. In 2003 I had an interview with Leo, which is on the interview-section on www.billybop.be
All my thoughts go to his family and near friends and especially to his wife Zula.

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Added : 6 5, 2005
Bonne Musique Zydeco – “Smokin’ Zydeco”

style : Zydeco

In 1992, Bervick "B.J." Deculus (originally from Eunice, Louisiana) started “Bonne Musique Zydeco” in California. This West Coast-band plays Zydeco music in the wide meaning of the word. As can be heard on their brand new CD “Smokin’ Zydeco”, the band is influenced by many different music styles, which results in their soulful funky zydeco-style.
Eight (out of 12) tracks, on this disc, are original Bonne Musique Zydeco-songs. The covers are Joe Walker’s “So Far So Good”, Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” (in the style of Buckwheat Zydeco’s version), Clifton Chenier’s “I’m A Hog For You” and the traditional “Eh La Bas”.
The sound is professional and the music is rather for the modern Zydeco-lover then for the roots-Zydeco fans.

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Added : 5 25, 2005
2nd European Cajun & Zydeco award

Please click on the link and give your vote for the best European Cajun- & Zydeco- band, the best accordion player, the best fiddler and the best sideman or sidewoman...
By the way, it feels good to see all that quality and quantity on the lists!

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Added : 5 8, 2005
The Cajun Roosters

The Cajun Pioneers will be the Cajun Roosters from now on.
The preceding months presented delicate problems for the Cajun Pionneers, which can be hardly described with words.
Because of personal and musical decisions, the band split up in January '05.
Weeks later Luitger Fräger died in a car accident. The musicians decided to keep up his heritage and honor what they've learned and admired: Luitger's dedication to Cajun and Zydeco.
To respect private matters the band will now be called 'Cajun Roosters'. Chris Hall, famed accordionplayer and Sam Murray on drums, both from England, will lead the band to new adventures in Cajun and Zydeco.

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Added : 4 18, 2005
Louisiana Blues – DVD

Wow!!! Frémeaux & Associés just released a wonderful DVD. About 52 minutes of Louisiana Cajun & Zydeco music in a film called “Louisiana Blues”, made by Jean-Pierre Bruneau and Jose Reynes.
This documentary, in the style of “J’ai Eté Au Bal”, has been filmed in 1992.
It’s absolutely a must for everyone who has any feeling with Louisiana music and culture! The sound and picture quality is perfect and the locations are variable from different stages, streets and gardens to Acadian Village in Lafayette.
A bit of interesting history on the Cajuns is also included, but the main reason to buy this DVD, is the wonderful Cajun and (mostly) Zydeco music & acts by stars such as Canray Fontenot, Bruce Daigrepont, Lennis & Ophy Romero, John Delafose, D.L. Menard, Basin Brothers, Beausoleil (& Michael Doucet), Lynn August, Zydeco Joe, Wayne Toups, Nathan Williams, Beau Jocque, etc.
The makers of this film did a wonderful job!

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Added : 4 9, 2005

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