McCauley Reed Vidrine. 1929 And Back.   Mitchell Reed, fiddle; Cory McCauley, accordion and vocals; Randy Vidrine, vocals and guitar.  Swallow Records LP-6090.  1991.  One 12″ disc. (Available from Swallow Records; P. O. Drawer 10; Ville Platte, LA 70586)

The title of McCauley, Reed and Vidrine’s album 1929 And Back refers to the pre-electric era of cajun music.  This is traditional Cajun music, as it is understood today from recordings and living memory.  Only three instruments are heard on the album:  cajun accordion, fiddle, and guitar, and they are heard without amplification.  The musicians are not septuagenarians but young men; the oldest was born in 1954.  Their style is unadorned but zesty.  The all-French vocals are in the traditional nasal manner, and the instruments relaxed but lively.  Most selections are vocal numbers though there are three instrumentals; all are either two-steps or waltzes.  It is a rare pleasure to hear such music played today, as contemporary cajun musicians play in styles heavily influenced by country music, rock and roll, or zydeco.  Moments evocative of the immediate, rural character of cajun music are provided by a bird’s cry heard at the end of one song and a hiccup during another.  The selections are lesser-known members of the Cajun repertoire, with one Tin Pan Alley song, “Lulu’s Back in Town,” sung in French.

[First appeared in the Sonneck Society Bulletin vol. 18 (Fall 1992): page 140.]

[This excellent LP has not appeared in CD form.  Mitchell Reed has gone on to other bands: Tasso and  Charivari.  He’s also played with BeauSoleil and others.  Randy Vidrine was also in Tasso,  Charivari and The Lafayette Rhythm Devils.  Cory McCauley has made one excellent CD, “Play That Thing, Yeah, Jack.”  He does not regularly record or perform, unfortunately.]

Advertisements