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…
Matthew Cormier has passed away
Matthew Cormier (bass player from Travis Matte's Zydeco Kingpins) has passed away Saturday 25th August. Mathew Cormier (T-Clem) had an accident at his work 2 days before, which left him with severe brain damage. Mathew was a great guy who loved life and lived it to it's fullest...sounds cliche' but he did! He will be missed by MANY people!
more info on :
Added : 8 27, 2007
- Blind Cajun Date
- Arve Haalands / Cajun Gumbo
at "gemeentelijk park" Opwijk (Belgium)
Entrance : € 15
Presale : € 10
First band starts at 18:30 h
more info on :
Added : 8 16, 2007
Zydeco At Sea in Ameland, Holland
On 6th and 7th July 2007 an international Zydeco & Cajun festival will be hold in Ameland, Holland.
The bands on Friday 6th will be: Des Fais Do-Do (Holland), Whiskey River (UK) and Zydeco Beach Party (Holland)
On Saturday 7th the River Zydeco Band (Holland), Les Chats Cadiens (Holland) and Zyderythmics (UK) will be playing.
Check out the link for more info.
more info on :
Added : 6 27, 2007
Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin has passed away
Singer-accordionist Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin passed away May 16, 2007, at the age of 91.
Alphonse was a cousin of the legendary black Creole accordionist Amede Ardoin, father of Lawrence “Black” Ardoin, and grandfather to Sean and Chris Ardoin.
Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin was born on November 16, 1915, at l'Anse de Prien Noir near Bayou Duralde, he began playing music (on the triangle) with Amédé when he was a teenager. Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin was a crucial link to the musique Creole traditions of a bygone era -- his music kept alive the Creole "la la" music which developed in the African-American communities of his native southwestern Louisiana, and which was a clear antecedent of the contemporary zydeco sound.
Born and raised as a sharecropper, farming remained the primary focus of his life even as an adult, often at the expense of his musical pursuits. He acquired the name “Bois Sec” translating as "Dry Wood", because as a child he was always the first one in the fields to seek shelter during a rainstorm.
Those of us fortunate enough to meet him, speak with him, or hear Mr. “Bois Sec” Ardoin play are deeply appreciative of his many and great contributions to Creole Music and Culture as well as Zydeco Music. Thank you Mr. Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin for showing us the importance of keeping our roots strong!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Ardoin family during this difficult time.
Wake will be on Sunday from 5pm to 10pm at St. Mathilda's Catholic Church Hall in Eunice, La.
The Funeral Mass will be held Monday at 11am also at St. Mathilda's Catholic Church in Eunice.
Burial will be at the Cezar Cemetary in L'Anse de Prien Noir, next to Bois Sec's house.
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Added : 5 17, 2007
Interview with Ann Savoy
As mentioned earlier, the Magnolia Sisters will be in France from 2nd till 6th June. I'm very glad mrs. Ann Savoy took some time to have this interview...
Do you still enjoy touring as much as in the beginning?
I think in many ways I enjoy it more now. Before I was usually leaving young children, and when I wasn’t leaving them they were with me running around which was distracting, to say the least.Now my children are young adults, musicians, such a part of our lives...so now I can relax and look around me, enjoying everything.
What does the Magnolia Sisters’ tour in France need to succeed?
We would feel really great if many people come to see us. We are generally playing small but very fun venues so it would help if people would buy CDs! But most of all we are going for the fun of it. Success will amount to the pleasure of the people who come out to hear us. Also, success will be playing with our French “Cajun” musician friends in the latter parts of our shows-that combination is always so interesting.
While in France, what is the first thing you’ll do when you have some spare time?
That is a hard question because we all love France too much...I will take off walking and because I am in love with Paris and Nantes and want to look at everything from a pedestrian viewpoint...we get a thrill when the plane touches the runway at Charles de Gaulle-to be in France holds so many possibilities...we will buy wine, cheese, and bread such as we can’t find in America and prepare to be stunned by everything...and the French coffee is good enough to please our Cajun coffee tastes.
Anya Shoenegge won’t be part of the tour, because she’s expecting a baby soon. How is she doing so far?
She is doing really wonderfully. She is so tiny that she still wears her regular clothes, and she is fiddling so much...her baby is due in mid-August..she is sorry to not join us.
Your daughter, Sarah Savoy, will join the Magnolia Sisters. How glad are you to have her back on stage with you?
We are really excited to be back with Sarah. I have been so pleased with her success in France. I saw the DVD of “Sarah Savoy and the Francadiens” and really enjoy the band. Sarah has been very reinforced by the French friends and audiences. America is hard for young Cajuns, so she is reinvigorated by your scene.
All of the Magnolia Sisters can handle different instruments. What will be the main line-up?
Ann on accordion, fiddle, and guitar, Jane fiddle and guitar, Lisa bass, guitar and percussion, and Sarah on guitar and triangle...and beating on a box.
Next to the Cajun & Creole styles, are you and the “sisters” going to sing some Acapella songs?
Yes, and it will be fun to sing them in France, because in America, aside from the Cajun auduences, noone understands the words but they love the acapella ballads anyway. So you will also know what we are singing about...You might recognize some of the songs from France if you know 17th siecle songs.
What are the most important qualities to become a Magnolia Sister?
To love the old music, to be funky, to not be too delicate, to be fun, to be natural...and an independant attitude because we have to play what we love...
What do you enjoy the most with the Magnolia Sisters?
All of the women in the band are very real, all love and know the old Cajun music, we love working out ideas, we love that it is us who pick all the songs, play them the way we want...they are are dear friends and we share a lot of history.
If you could bring only a few cd’s or records with you to listen at while you’re in your room. Which ones would it be?
I am listening to Volume 1 of Maurice Berzas and the Mamou Playboys quite a bit lately, then I make compilations of Cajun music I like...I also love French jazz from the 1930’s-1940’s so while in France I will be playing that in my room...I want to be in your country hearing your music..."
Do you sometimes play on the same accordions as your husband or do you have some special needs on your accordions to have it personalised?
My accordions are specially made for me by my husband Marc Savoy-they only have 9 buttons and are small...I am only bringing one of my three accordions because of the luggage restrictions. I have a D, a C, and an A.
After having recorded pop and folk stars, like John Fogerty and Nick Lowe, on a tribute to Cajun music, you even had acts like Cyndi Lauper and Tom Tom Club recording on a tribute to Creole and Zydeco. Did these people already had any feeling and love for that music or did you have to show them the direction to do these recordings?
All of the artists involved knew about the music and had a want to record it. John Fogerty had my book(!) and wanted to record a real hardcore Cajun song by Iry LeJeune..so he really knew his stuff...they all did it out of love for the music.
How do you see Cajun music and its culture in the future?
I think the Cajuns will be out on the prairies doing what they do for a long long time in the future. Everyone thought they were about to die out in 1932 and they are so strong still at this time!
You are a very busy person: playing a lot of music, producing records, writing books, making or being part of documentaries, having this interview, etc. Do you have any time left for any other hobbies not related to Cajun culture?
I love to try to recreate vintage clothing-everyday style, I love to garden and try to figure out the insane climate demands of this area, I like to paint my house, dine in great restaurants, draw, study web design. cut my hair.....hmmm....
Is there anything you would like to add for the readers of Cajun Corner?
Only that it is so fine to know there are readers out there who want to know what is going on in Cajun country, want to play this music...so many old friends in France who play and know this music so well...it is like a real kinship....beaucoup merci et à bientot!.
Merci beacoup à vous et je vous souhaite beaucoup de succes et de plaisir en France!
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Added : 5 15, 2007
Sarah Savoy will join the Magnolia Sisters in France
As mentioned in the article below Anya Schoenegge won't be part of the Magnolia Sisters' tour in France, because she is expecting a baby soon.
But here's some real good news for the tour visitors: Miss Sarah Savoy will join the band on guitar (and hopefully on vocals as well !)
more info on :
Added : 5 8, 2007
Magnolia Sisters tour in France (2nd-6th June)
style : Cajun
Pioneer all-women Cajun band, the Magnolia Sisters play great acoustic music and sing flawless close harmony. Their repertoire digs into many styles of French music of southwest Louisiana, from dancehall Cajun to primitive Creole, from house music to front porch ballads and, at the same time, reflects a woman's viewpoint. With great strength and beauty, they alternate balancing rollicking dance music with edgy, modal, a cappella versions of haunting and ancient songs such as "Le Pays des Estrangers" and "La Belle et le Capitaine." A cross between "a bayou Fairport Convention and a feistier, female Beausoleil", the Sisters are not related by blood but by frienship and a common love for Cajun music. Ann Savoy co-founded the Magnolia Sisters in 1995. She is married to the famous Cajun musician and accordion maker Marc Savoy and she is the mother of the emerging bayou stars Joël Savoy, Wilson Savoy and Sarah Savoy. Her last Cd "Adieu False Heart" (Vanguard Records) a duo with superstar Linda Rondstadt won her a Grammy nomination (best traditional folk album). She is also the author of the definitive book "Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People". Band co-founder's Jane Vidrine has been coordinator of folk arts for the US National Park Service and curator of a Cajun museum. With her husband John Vidrine she plays in a group called Nez-Piqué. Liza Trahan Reed has also strong Cajun connections. Her father is Harry Trahan, a well known Cajun accordion player and her husband is fiddler Mitchell Reed, a member of Michael Doucet's Beausoleil (Anya Schoenegge, the newest member of the band won't be part of this tour because she is expecting a baby soon).
Said the Sisters: "Part of the body of our music has been gleaned from a long-buried wealth of Cajun jewels found in the Sisters’ extensive music archives. Though these older songs are some of the most unusual aspects of our sound, we also love to play Cajun standards in a hardcore dancehall style and primitive Creole numbers learned from Creole masters like Canray Fontenot and Preston Frank. We take beautiful and long-lost songs from old collections and sweep off the cobwebs to bring them back in all their richness".
One thing that makes the Sisters music so appealing is their shared ability as multi-instrumentalists; each band member plays several different instruments. In their shows they move between twin fiddle tunes, heavy bass Creole hits, dancehall standards and accapella songs. This makes a musical evening with Magnolia Sisters a fun and enriching experience. The Magnolia Sisters rock, in French!
(Their first CD, "Prends Courage" was released in 1995 on Arhoolie Records. Their second and third releases, "Chers Amis" and "Après Faire le Boogie-Woogie" are on Rounder Records as well as their new album for children: "Lapin, Lapin, Chansons Cajun et Créoles pour les Enfants")
Tour dates :
June 2 - concert in Nantes c/o Bretagne-Acadie-Louisiane, tel 02 40 89 33 46, e-mail Gmbraud@aol.com
June 4 - concert @ théâtre L’Archipel, 17 Blvd de Strasbourg, Paris 10e www.saphirproductions.net/
June 5 -dance@ restaurant Blue Bayou, 111 rue St Maur, corner Oberkampf, Paris 11e www.pariszoomtv.com/place.asp?P=Blue+Bayou -
June 6 - concert in Ris-Orangis @ L’Entrepot or L’Avant Scene, c/o Cousins et Voisins tel
01 69 43 15 96 or 08 72 27 25 65
more info on :
Added : 5 6, 2007
15 questions for Lesa Cormier (from the Sundown Playboys)
The Sundown Playboys were formed in 1945 (originally as the Elton Playboys, but a little later they changed the name to Sundown Playboys). I thought it would be a good idea to honour that fantastic Cajun band and to have an interview with Lesa Cormier, the only original member who’s still in the band.
In some biographies on the Sundown Playboys I read the band was formed in 1945, in some others I see you were formed in 1947… Do you remember the right year, Lesa?
My father and Emory Lapoint formed the Elton Playboys in 1945.
Shortly after your father (Lionel Cormier) formed the Sundown Playboys, you started to play the drums. Did you keep playing the drums in function of the band or did it also become your favourite instrument?
I have continued playing drums although it is not my favorite instrument. I prefer playing guitar. I also play accordion.
Who were the biggest influences on you and on your father?
The biggest influences on my father were Amadie Breaux and Amadie Ardoin. My influences were Nathan Abshire and Lawrence Walker.
Next to Cajun music, do you also often listen to other music styles?
I enjoy most types of music. My favorites are Cajun and Country & Western.
Lionel’s “Welcome Club Waltz” has later been recorded by Lawrence Walker as “Reno Waltz”. Did he contact your father for that?
No, Lawrence Walker did not contact my father before recording "Reno Waltz".
For a few years the Sundown Playboys were a 3-generation family band (you, your father and one of your sons were playing in the band at the same time). Next to the advantages, did you or the band also have to deal with disadvantages because of that?
No, we got along well !!!
With your wife, Hazel Mott Cormier, you raised a daughter and three sons. They are all musicians who have performed with the Sundown Playboys. How are you Cajuns motivating your children to play music instead of watching Cartoon Network?
With so much Cajun Music around the house, they were dancing to the music as soon as they could walk.
“Saturday Night Special” (with "La Valse de Soleil Couché" as B-side) has been released on Apple Records (famous record label from the Beatles). Have they done any research on Cajun music to issue more of that kind on their label?
No, they did not!
That song can be heard on the movie “Sister, Sister” (1988). Unfortunately I haven’t seen it yet. What kind of film is it?
The movie "Sister, Sister" is a drama about a murder on Greenwood Plantation.
Over the years the band has had many different musicians, but the Sundown Playboys-sound always stayed intact. Did it take a lot of adapting for the new musicians or did they just project their own playing style on the band?
There wasn't much adapting to do, they just fell in the Sundown Playboy sound."
You grew up in Elton, but later settled in Lake Charles. That’s not too far from Texas. Did or do you guys have a good follow-up in Texas?
Yes, we play often in Texas (Houston, San Antonio, etc.).
Did Texas and its Country music have a bigger influence on Cajuns from the western part than on the eastern part of Southwest Louisiana?
Yes, there is some Country & Western influence in the Cajun Bands in Southwest Louisiana. We use more Steel Guitars. Some of our songs come from Country & Western tunes.
Are there any upcoming (recording) plans with the band?
We are still planning a new CD!
Next to playing & listening music, do you have any other hobbies?
I like to hunt and fish, but have not done either one in a while. I am retired and I am always busy. My wife sees to that. I don't know how I ever found time to go to work.
Is there anything you'd like to add to the Cajun Corner readers?
I am so glad that our music is appreciated in many parts of the world. I hope we can continue to preserve our music for many more years.
So do I, Lesa! Thanks a lot for this interview!
Added : 5 2, 2007
Bonsoir, Catin – “Blues A Catin”
style : Cajun
With such wonderful singers and musicians like Christine Balfa Powell, Kristi Guillory, Yvette Landry, Anya Shoenegge Burgess and Jude Veillon you can’t go wrong! Bonsoir Catin surely didn’t disappoint with their CD “Blues A Catin”!
I really love every song of it!!!
Title track “Blues A Catin”, an energetic two-step written by Kristi Guillory, is a Cajun blues with a little Zydeco touch. It’s about someone who left home and now has to sleep in a chicken coop. On the front cover the 4 girls are standing there with the instruments in their hands, while drummer Jude Veillon feeds the chickens. Do you get the “don’t mess with these girls” message? Kristi’s second self-penned masterpiece on this CD is called “Le Vieux Dodge A Bill Landry”. It’s about rambling an old Dodge from bar to bar to perform with the Cajun band. The enthusiasm, joie de vivre and “happy to be Cajun”-feeling is steaming out of it.
Special guest Richard Comeaux added a beautiful Honky-Tonk Country-touch, playing steel guitar on Johnny Sonnier’s “Paul Daigle Sur Le Jukebox” and Belton Richard’s “A Baby Again”. These tracks are sung and played with a lot of emotional feeling. In fact, all of their tracks are, but in these kinds of songs the accent really lays on the emotional part.
Talking about emotional music… How about Adam & Cyp Landreneau’s “Les Pinieres”? Très jolie!
“Cinquante Piastres” is an unknown (or forgotten) treasure from Joe Warren Cormier. It’s hard to describe how much I love this song and it perfectly matches with Kristi’s wonderful voice!
“Longue Pointe Two-Step” from the great Ambrose Thibodeaux is another real beautiful Cajun two-step. The girls are really rockin’ again on Lawrence Walker’s “Alberta” (which is about the same song as “Corinna Corinna”). Amazing vocals again and real great solo’s on fiddle, accordion and Terry Huval’s lap steel.
“La Sainte Catherine” (originally an Acapella ballad) and hidden track “Dans Mon Chemin” (with Dirk Powell on piano!) are 2 traditional songs. They’re both done in a real joyful folkloric way and demonstrate that these girls have a rich cultural interest. Rather than just playing Cajun standards, they like to project other influences on their style and also pick up other Cajun tunes than the ones that can be heard on the “Best of” records…
It’s always great to have more than 1 good singer in a band! Most lead vocals here have been taken by Kristi, but Christine Balfa Powell took this role on 5 tracks: the traditional “Reve Du Saoulard”, Nathan Abshire’s “Je Suis Saoul Encore” (with Terry Huval on dobro), Jesse Légé’s “Memoires Dans Mon Coeur”, Adam Hebert’s “Ouvre Donc Cette Porte” and “La Bouteille” from Sheryl & Russell Cormier. Since “Balfa Toujours” we all know about Christine’s wonderful singing style. Her voice is very different from Kristi’s (which makes it real nice to have both singers in one band), but she sings with the same power, enthusiasm and emotional feeling (straight from the heart) as Kristi.
“Tiger Rag Blues”, the only instrumental on the CD, is a very lively rockin’ Cajun song. It’s a perfect foot-tapper!
Next to the great accordion work by Kristi and guitar by Christine and their beautiful vocals I surely also like to accent the wonderful fiddle play of Anya Burgess (also known from the Magnolia Sisters), the great roots bass sound of Yvette Landry (especially on the songs where she slaps the double bass) and the perfectly matching touch of drummer Jude Veillon.
This CD, made with a lot of passion and a big touch of Cajun feeling, is brilliant from the beginning till the end!
more info on :
Added : 4 25, 2007
C.J. Chenier – “The Desperate Kingdom Of Love”
style : Zydeco
C.J.’s newest C.D. is quite different from his others. While his other albums are wild Zydeco party discs, this one rather is a Blues album with a smooth Zydeco touch. Being recorded shortly after hurricane Katrina, “The Desperate Kingdom Of Love” has been made in a sincere bluesy mood.
The title track is a soulful blues song from P.J. Harvey. With his deep soulful voice and smooth accordion sound, C.J. surely put that Swamp Pop feeling in it.
Hank Williams’ “Lost On The River” and Van Morrison’s “Comfort You” are 2 other bluesy soul ballads.
C.J. included 4 songs from his father Clifton Chenier. “Black Snake Blues” and “Ain’t No Need In Cryin’” are 2 beauties who really has got that deep Bayou Blues feeling. “Rosemary” (surely one of my personal favourites) is a real wonderful Swamp Pop track in the style of “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”. This one could have been a great addition to Fats Domino’s fifties hits! "Bogalusa Boogie" (which is dedicated to Gatemouth Brown, who died just days after Katrina destroyed his home in Louisiana) is a frantic instrumental.
C.J. also wrote 4 songs for this album: “I’ve Been Good To You Baby”, “Learning To Live”, “Who’s Cheatin’ Who?” and “Finger Lickin’ Chicken”. These tracks include rock, soul, Zydeco and blues influences and have a quite modern sound.
This CD may be different from what you expect from a C.J. Chenier album, but it’s a surely a quality-disc with a lot of feeling.
Added : 4 18, 2007
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