Todd Mouton’s new book Way Down in Louisiana is all about Clifton Chenier and the musical universe in which he shines so very brightly.  About half the book is about Chenier and half about other musicians: Sonny Landreth, Michael Doucet, Steve Riley, and Zachary Richard.  Zachary Richard’s new children’s book is The Legend of Lil Red.  It’s an enchanting picaresque story rather like the Brementown Musicians or the Wizard of Oz.  This video starts with Mouton talking about his book, then moving to Richard, who got the entire packed house at the Louisiana Music Factory to sing with him.

 

Some think that zydeco was invented in Houston.  Whether true or not, it’s a strong center of zydeco music and Creole culture.  The Houston Chronicle has an article on Creoles in Texas entitled:  ‘Creole’ in Houston: not black, not white, different than ‘mixed.’  Definitely worth reading.

The Arhoolie Foundation has posted audio and transcripts of three interviews with Clifton Chenier, Eddie Shuler, and Moise Robin.  Chenier is the towering giant of zydeco music.  Shuler is the mastermind behind Lake Charles, La.-based Goldband Records, and Robin recorded several important tracks before the Cajun renaissance of the 1960s.

Here’s a delightful peek at a French Cajun and zydeco music festival–that is, in France.  Jouras-Pontchartrain is a short distance from Paris, and it has a Cajun music festival revived in 2014 after an absence of 25 years.  The next festival will be held in the sister city of Hammond, LA, not very far from New Orleans.  Here’s a few songs from an unidentified band, none of whose members I recognize.  It’s mostly strings, but with an accordion for a bit.  There’s dancing, food and music–what else do you need?  

This weekend is the 2015 Festival de Musique Acadienne et Créole, the premier Cajun, Louisiana Creole and zydeco music event of the year.  You’ve still got time to make your plans and head on over.  Here’s who you’ll hear:

Festival de Musique Acadienne et Créole 2015

Scène Ma Louisiane

Friday, Oct. 9

5:30 – 6:45: Acadian Connection featuring Terry Huval & Jambalaya, DL Menard, Hert LeBanc, Jo-El Sonnier, Christine Balfa, Kevin Wimmer & Waylon Thibodeaux
7:15 – 8:45: Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie

Saturday, Oct. 10

10:30 – 11:30: Rachel Wilson and Cajun Express
11:45 – 12:45: T-Salé, with tribute to Cyp and Adam Landreneau
1:00 – 2:15: Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys & Family Juré – Presented by Festival International de la Louisiane
2:30 – 3:30: Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys
3:45 – 4:45: Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express
5:00 – 6:00: Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars
6:15 – 7:30: Bonsoir, Catin

Sunday, Oct. 11

10:30 – 11:30: Robert Jardell and Pure Cajun
11:45 – 12:45: Dog Hill Stompers
1:00 – 2:00: Hert LeBlanc Band from Bouctouche, New Brunswick, Canada
2:15 – 3:15: Travis Matte and the Kingpins
3:30 – 4:30: Richard LeBoeuf and Two-Step
4:45 – 5:45: Jo-El Sonnier
6:00 – 7:15: Wayne Toups ZydeCajun

Scène Mon Héritage

Saturday, Oct. 10

10:45 – 11:45: Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sound
12:00 – 1:00: Ruben Moreno and Zydeco Re-Evolution
1:15 – 2:15: Magnolia Sisters
2:30 – 3:30: Pine Leaf Boys
3:45 – 4:45: Corey Ledet Zydeco Band
5:00 – 6:30: Feufollet

Sunday, Oct. 11

10:30 – 11:30: Lil Wayne and Same Old Two-Step
11:45 – 12:45: Babineaux Sisters
1:00 – 2:00: Chubby Carrière and the Bayou Swamp Band
2:15 – 3:15: Lost Bayou Ramblers
3:30 – 4:45: Terry and the Zydeco Bay Boys
5:00 – 6:30: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

Salle de Danse

Saturday, Oct. 10

11:00 – 12:00: Lafayette Rhythm Devils
12:15 – 1:15: Zydeco Radio
1:30 – 2:30: Sweet Crude – Presented by Festival International de la Louisiane
2:45 – 4:00: Creole String Beans
4:15 – 5:30: Savoy Family Band

Sunday, Oct. 11

9:00 – 10:00: French Mass presented by Festivals Acadiens et Créoles
11:00 – 12:00: Paul Daigle & Cajun Gold
12:15 – 1:15: Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band
1:30 – 2:30: Red Beans and Rice Revue Reunion
2:45 – 3:45: The Revelers – Presented by Festival International de la Louisiane
4:00 – 5:30: Gregg Martinez and the Delta Kings

Atelier

Saturday, Oct. 10

11:30 – 12:30: Is it ladylike? Christine Balfa, Sheryl Cormier, Mary Broussard, Kristi Guillory
12:45 – 1:45: Acadian Ballads – David Greely, Barry Ancelet, Megan Brown & Hert Leblanc
2:00 – 3:00: Pianorama – Rick Lagneaux, Wilson Savoy & Eric Adcock
3:15 – 4:15: Electric Guitars – Sam Broussard, Chris Stafford & Tommy Shreve
4:30 – 5:30: Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, Leroy Etienne, Aurelien Barnes – Louisiana Creole French Songs

Sunday, Oct. 11

11:30 – 12:30: Master Fiddlers – Kevin Wimmer & Mitch Reed
12:45 – 1:45: Steel Guitars in Cajun Dance Halls – Randall Foreman, Richard Comeaux & Marty Broussard
2:00 – 3:00: Fiddlers with amps – Jamie Bearb, Jason Bergeron, Travis Matte
3:15 – 4:15: Accordion theory – Jason Frey, Steve Riley and Dexter Ardoin
4:30 – 5:30: Sweet Cecelia

Anniversary Stage

Saturday, Oct. 10

11:30 – 12:30: Huval – Fuselier Cajun Trio
12:45 – 1:45: Ervin Frey and the Eunice Ramblers
2:00 – 3:00: Kira Viator and Bayou Beat
3:15 – 4:15: Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours
4:30 – 5:30: Ray Abshire & Friends

Sunday, Oct. 11

11:30 – 12:30: Dexter Ardoin Band
12:45 – 1:45: T’Monde
2:00 – 3:00: Courtbouillon
3:15 – 4:15: Jimmy Breaux and Friends
4:30 – 5:30: Goldman Thibodeaux and Friends

Jam Ça!

Saturday, Oct. 10

12:00 – 1:15: Kira Viator
1:30 – 2:45: Sheryl & Russell Cormier
3:00 – 4:15: Jeffery Broussard and D’Jalma Garnier
Sunday, Oct. 11

12:00 – 1:15: Jimmy Breaux
1:30 – 2:45: Horace Trahan
3:00 – 4:15: Angelle Aces with Kristi Guillory

The title says it all–for now.  The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival has been set for the dates June 18-19, 2016.  The festival is free and one of the local projects of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the folks who put on the Jazz Fest in April and May of each year.  Make your plans now!

The annual Ponderosa Stomp is held in New Orleans in early October, two nights of performances by soul, rockabilly, rhythm ‘n’ blues, rock ‘n’ roll and surf music masters, usually coaxed out of retirement.  This year Lynn August is one of the performers.  The writer and drummer Ben Sandmel has written an excellent article for the Stomp about the history of zydeco.  It’s entitled “If You Can’t Dance to Zydeco, You Can’t Dance–Period.”  Sandmel is also one of the contributors to the Zydeco Crossroads project.

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