Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Louisiana Cajun French Music from the Southwest Prairies Vol. 2
Genres: Blues, Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
This second volume of Ralph Rinzler's mid-'60s field recordings features three groups: "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot, whose spirited, elemental fiddle and accordion duets and shouting vocals are among the set's hig... more »
Listen to Samples
This second volume of Ralph Rinzler's mid-'60s field recordings features three groups: "Bois Sec" Ardoin and Canray Fontenot, whose spirited, elemental fiddle and accordion duets and shouting vocals are among the set's highlights; Adam and Cyprien Landreneau; and Isom Fontenot, Aubrey Deville and Presto Manuel.
Great field recordings by Ralph Rinzler
Neal F. Pomea | Colesville, Maryland | 11/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album came out on vinyl in 1976. It is the second of two albums recorded by Ralph Rinzler between 1964-1967 in response to the success of Cajun bands performing at the Newport Festival beginning in 1964. Rinzler knew something was going on down in southwest Louisiana and he wanted to capture it for the Smithsonian.
What was going on was that some of the old-timey Cajun and Creole master musicians were still around playing some of the most hard-hitting Louisiana French music you will ever hear.
It opens with the great black Creole team of Alphone "Bois-Sec" Ardoin on accordion and his musical partner Canray Fontenot on fiddle. Such a bluesy sound on Bon Soir Moreau, the first tune which the jacket mislabeled Hack a 'Tit Moreau (that's another tune altogether). Canray's vocal on this is just amazing! Bois Sec takes the lead on Eunice Two Step and Quoi Faire, and Canray finishes up with a slow, mournful solo on Jug au Plombeau about the life of a vagabond. Bois Sec and Canray recorded for Dick Spottswood in 1966 on their drive back home to Louisiana from their appearance at Newport Folk Festival, and it was leased or sold to Arhoolie Records, if you want to get your hands on more of their recordings together.
Next up is the rarely recorded harmonica genius Isom Fontenot on one of his signature pieces, La Betaille dans le Petit Arbre, accompanied by guitarist Preston Manuel and fiddler Aubrey Deville. Deville and Manuel combine for the jaunty little tune, Le Vieux Bouef et le Vieux Charriot. Arhoolie captured Isom Fontenot on a couple of compilations, Cajun Fais Do Do and Folksongs of the Louisiana Acadians.
The rest of the album features what I think are the best recordings of Adam and Cyprien Landreneau. They also appear on Arhoolie's Cajun Fais Do Do and on Swallow's Cajun Sole, but these recordings here really capture their intensity best, in my opinion. Les Pinières is the emotional high point of the album, with a hypnotic fiddle line and Adam's high high vocal really shining, and rhythm pounded out by the musicians' feet!More lighthearted in tone are Treville n'est pas pecheur and Danse de Limonade. In the latter the singer lets us know he drank too much the night before, so today he's asking for a glass of lemonade (or a dose of Kary On!)
In the case of the Landreneaus it's down home music by people who did not play dancehalls professionally but in the neighborhood for the older house dances and soirées. The music dates back to a time when so many rural people entertained themselves with cherished songs learned in the family long long ago.
If you like or are curious about the roots of Cajun and Creole music, this album is essential for your collection. It's on my list of picks "if I were stranded on a deserted island!""