Nick Spitzer’s excellent radio program American Routes is covering Lafayette’s fantastic Festival International the week of April 8-14, 2015.  Exact air date will vary depending on your local public radio station.  There will be lots of live performances you won’t hear elsewhere from Jeffrey Broussard, Les Traiteurs, Michael Doucet and Chris Stafford, Balfa Toujours, Jesse Lege and Joel Savoy, Corey Ledet and Cedric Watson, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Belton Richard, Yvette Landry, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Roddie Romero.  Two hours of great music!  Do yourself a favor and listen.

Nick Spitzer will talk to Cajun poet and musician Zachary Richard and to Richard Thompson on his radio show American Routes this week.  That’s two hours of mostly music with some talk.

Alan Lomax traveled the world in search of folk music.  He recorded many individuals and groups in Louisiana in the 1930’s.  Many of these recording have been commercially released and make fascinating listening.  Lomax also founded the Association for Cultural Equity, a non-profit whose mission is “to explore and preserve the world’s expressive traditions with humanistic commitment and scientific engagement.”  They have posted Lomax’s lesser-known videos, including many taken of Cajun musicians in the 1980’s.  Musicians include Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil, aged Dennis McGee, Octa Clark and Hector Duhon, Dewey Balfa, and many others.  Makes fascinating listening!

Lafayettte’s Festival International has announced its music lineup.  Looks like there’s waaaaay more zydeco and Cajun than usual this year.  Acts include: Buckwheat Zydeco, Terrance Simien, Roddie Romero, Lil Nathan, Zachary Richard, Dwayne Dopsie, Bonsor, Catin, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet, Soul Creole, David Greely, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Jeffrey Broussard Family Band, Cedric Watson, Leroy Thomas, Corey Ledet, T-Monde, Couzans Cajun Band, and Zydeco Radio. The dates are April 22 through 26, 2015, so it’s exactly opposite the first weekend of Jazz Fest.  But the price is right, free!  Just make the trip to Lafayette and enjoy the shorter lines and many of the same acts Jazz Fest will have.  Come on down, cher, and enjoy you some music!

The list of artists playing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2015 has been released.  Here’s the daily lineup for Cajun, Louisiana Creole and zydeco.  Only the date is set, not the stage or time.

Friday, April 24:  Wayne Toups, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Lil, Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, The Revelers (swamp pop)

Saturday, April 25:  Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys.  Cajun pedal steel guitarist Richard Comeaux (High Performance, etc.) and his band The River Rats are also playing; don’t know what kind of music they’ll play.

Sunday, April 26:  BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet 40th anniversary with special guests, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Savoy Family Cajun Band, Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Ray Abshire Cajun Band

Thursday, April 30:  Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys (some Cajun), Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys, Joe Hall & the Louisiana Cane Cutters.  Also the Yvette Landry Band (bass player Bonsoir, Catin), though her solo work is more country than Cajun.  Sweet Cecilia is an offshoot of the late Al Berard’s daughter’s (Meghan) band.

Friday, May 1:  Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Jambalaya Cajun Band with D. L. Menard, Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners

Saturday, May 2:  Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band, Bonsoir, Catin

Sunday, May 3:  Buckwheat Zydeco, Pine Leaf Boys, FeuFollet, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Brandon Moreau and Cajungrass

To be awarded in 2015, here are the Grammy Award nominees for category #51 Best Regional Roots Music Album (scroll way down to see–at least they’re in  numeric order).    There is one Hawai’ian and one Native American nominee.

Light The Stars. Bonsoir, Catin. Valcour Records
Hanu ‘A’ala. Kamaka Kukona. Hanu Arts & Entertainment.
Love’s Lies. Magnolia Sisters. Arhoolie Records.
The Legacy. Jo-El Sonnier. Takau Records.
Ceremony. Joe Tohonnie Jr. Cool Runnings Music

The best blog on Cajun music is Early Cajun Music by an anonymous author (no, that’s not him in the photo on the profile page).  As the initial page says, “A unique window into the world of Cajun music between 1928 and 1965. Compiled histories from websites, books, news articles, liner notes, and interviews. Most come from my personal 78 collection. Also covering Creole, Cajun-Country, and Cajun swing.”  Must be quite a collection!  Ten to fourteen times a month, the author write one article about a single 78, covering side A, with photo.  You’ll get the lyrics and an embedded recording.  The author has collected her or his very informative posts as PDFs.  The two (so far) links are on the right side, right above the label index.  I’ll be spending some of my time reading through these excellent background pieces.


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