Here’s a fabulous album that has never made it to CD format:  La-La : Louisiana Black French Music.  It was originally issued by Swallow Records in 1977 with catalog number LP 1004.  The recordings were made in the field by Nicholas Spitzer, one-time State Folklorist of Louisiana.  Spitzer went on to the Smithsonian, and now produces the excellent syndicated public radio show, American Routes and is professor at Tulane University in New Orleans.  The album is accompanied by an excellent four-page insert listing and commenting on each song, many with lyrics in Creole French and translated into English.  The first side has eight songs by the duo The Carrière Brothers:  Calvin (diatonic accordion) and Bébé Carrière (violin).   This is back porch music as played by rural, French-speaking blacks in south Louisiana going back to the 1930s and perhaps further.  It’s active, participatory self-entertainment, what people did to entertain themselves and each other.    The second side is by The Lawtell Playboys: Delton Broussard (accordon), Calvin Carrière (violin), J.C. Garlow (rubboard), Paul Newman (drums), Linton Broussard (bass), and Shelton Broussard (rhythm guitar).  As Spitzer says, “the sound of the Lawtell Playboys can probably be described as modern rural Zydeco.”  The violin player is typical of Creole French music but not modern zydeco.  This is raw, vital, urgent music that will shake you down to your toes.  If you find a copy, grab it!

La-La : Louisiana Black French Music

La-La : Louisiana Black French Music

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