Here’s Marc Savoy, solo, on stage at the Musical Instruments Museum in Phoenix, AZ.  He’s playing the first song he learned, “J’ai passe devant ta porte,” or “I passed by your door.”  It’s an instrumental, so don’t wait for the vocals to kick in.  Savoy is one of the two best accordion makers, the other being Junior Martin.  They’re all made by hand, slowly, and they aren’t cheap!    

A flickr user named dr.joE has posted three pages of photographs of accordions.  They’re mostly Cajun style diatonic accordions, with a few triple-rows thrown in.  There are very few associated with a musician, but they’re quite pretty!  Also lots of photos of musicians performing.  Worth a look!

Here are four glorious Louisiana Creole songs brought to you by KEXP-FM, Seattle, WA.   The set starts with Le soleil est leve (The sun is setting), then Pa Janvier (or Donne moi Pauline), a great minor key song from the Cajun repertoire.  There’s an interview with Watson from 8:40 to 15:31, followed by Cochon de Lait, then some more discussion about the band members, and Les hurlements.  Watson plays diatonic and double-row accordion and violin and sings.  Each song is named with text over the video. 

Here’s Caroline Gerdes’ article on the courir, Cajun Mardi Gras, in National Geographic’s Explorer’s Journal.  Looks like this is part of a series of articles on cultures and folkways around the world.  The author confesses she’s from Greater New Orleans, which probably means the suburbs somewhere.

Here are some real, live Mardi Gras singing the Chanson de Mardi Gras near Iota, Louisiana.  “Mardi Gras,” or “Fat Tuesday” is the last day before Lent.  It is the last day for feasting before the austere Lenten season.  In Cajun country, men and women dress up in colorful costumes and ride the highways, going from house to house, begging for ingredients for the communal gumbo eaten at the end of the day.  “Mardi Gras” refers to the day and, in Cajun country, to the riders themselves.  There are two figures with mock whips in hand, one in brown and one in a red vest.  Looks like the man in the vest is the capitain (captain), who is responsible for keeping a semblance of order among the riders.  Singing begins at about 0:43.  Every community has its own version of the chanson de Mardi Gras.  Here are three:  Balfa Brothers, Austin Pitre, and Steve Riley.  The one sung here doesn’t match exactly any of them.  Love the look of wariness on the dog on the porch, and the frisson on the faces of the children.  The wire screen masks are evident, the conical capuchon hats, and the fringe on all the costumes.  Capitaine, Capitaine voyage ton flag!

Guitarist, violinist, writer and producer Al Berard died Wednesday, February 26, 2014 after an illness stretching back to December.  Wikipedia entryOffBeat article.  Berard was 53 years old.  Condolences to all her family and friends.

Jeffrey Broussard will be featured in the second hour of this week’s American Routes radio show from Nick Spitzer, along with D.C.’s Chuck Brown.  Broussard is a singer and accordion player, and leader of Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys.  He was also a member of the band Zydeco Force.  It’s show #839.


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