This year’s Festival International de Louisiane is over. I was fortunate enough to attend Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. The festival is strong on bands from outside the United States, so it’s definitely not a Cajun, Creole or zydeco festival. However, there were some high points for local music lovers. My photos are on flickr.

Saturday afternoon I hung out with Gina Forsyth, violinist and member of the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, for Bonsoir, Catin.  They were top notch as usual, but the sound was *not* good.  The bass was up too loud and the violin barely audible.  Poor sound quality was one complaint I heard many times over the weekend from many stages.  (Bruce Daigrepont was rained out at Jazz Fest, unfortunately.)

Saturday night was the Zydeco Force reunion, and it was a blast!  Almost all of the original members were there.  It was at one of the smaller stages, with an all-concrete seating and dance area (ugh!).  But the crowd was big and loved it!  They played all together and as smaller ensembles, with one group of four doing a great soul number.  No photos unfortunately.  Accordionist Jeffrey Broussard is doing well with his band, the Creole Cowboys.

D. L. Menard was Sunday, on the same stage, with an all-star band.  Jambalaya Cajun Band backed him up and Sonny Landreth played guitar.  Menard just turned 78 and has a new album out, Happy-Go-Lucky.  His voice is showing wear, but he’s still great to hear.  Many consider him one of the greatest living Cajun musicians and songwriters.  At one point, he put a young man on vocals for two numbers.  Terry Huval, Jambalaya leader, played accordion and steel guitar.  Menard is quite the comedian, telling jokes, teasing those on stage, and generally cutting up.  His wife died many years ago, and I met his current girlfriend, an attractive older woman with spiffy green cowboy boots!

Plan to come next year.  Admission is free, Lafayette is inexpensive, and the lineup of music always superb!