It’s not easy to keep up with the latest releases in Cajun, zydeco and Louisiana Creole music.  There are several music labels that issue mostly Cajun, zydeco and Louisiana Creole recordings and some that issue one every now and then.  I was unable to find categories for Cajun, zydeco and Louisiana Creole with major retailers like Amazon and Tower Records.  If you’ve got a recommendation, leave it in the comments. Thanks.

  • Louisiana Music Factory New Releases:  It’s all the new titles from a superb New Orleans-based retailer.  The disadvantage is that it’s every new recording they sell, traditional and modern jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, and more.  So you’ll have to browse.  Tip:  change “items displayed” at the top of the page from the default 10 to 100.
  • OffBeat Magazine:  Most Cajun and zydeco recordings are reviewed by Dan Willging.
  • Flat Town Music:  The retail arm of Swallow and Maison de Soul Records.  They do carry music from other labels, fortunately.
    Alas there is no way to look at just new releases.  Warning:  a music player loads and starts automatically.
  • Arhoolie Records:  Also no new releases section nor a way to sort by release date.  There is a Cajun and zydeco section, however.
  • Rounder RecordsNew releases.  They aren’t as important a label for zydeco now as they were a decade ago, but still worth watching.
  • CD Universe:  Cajun category, Cajun/zydeco category, zydeco category, zydeco collections category.  Why do they overlap?  Who knows?  Can select ‘Future Releases’ in pull-down menu.

The Jolly Inn in Houma, Louisiana has been in business for decades.  A short article in the Houma Daily Comet talks about its current status, the 75-year-old owner and his two daughters who operate it.  The photo shows a line dance, a somewhat unusual Cajun music dance.  It’s worth a visit if you’re in the Houma-Thibodeaux area on Friday evening or Sunday afternoon.  According to Google, it’s currently at 1507 Barrow Street, Houma, LA 70360-7649, (985) 872-6114.

The Lafourche Parish area isn’t usually cited as a hot bed of Cajun music, but there’s a long tradition.  Artists Vin Bruce and L. J. Foret are well known and originate here.  And there have been numerous small 45 labels, like Anco, Houma, Outlaw and Warpath in the region.   And don’t forget the wonderfully-named Denture Centre Records!

I’m very excited to have a custom image in my blog header.  It’s Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys live on the Fais Do-Do Stage from this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  There are two special guests on stage:  Kenny Bill Stinson on piano (at left) and Cleveland Chenier’s granddaughter (didn’t get her name) on rubboard.  Guitarist Sam Broussard’s head is behind the blog name.  The drummer is not visible, sadly.

I’ve finished adding comments to my Jazz Fest 2009 photos on flickr. Most are Cajun and zydeco acts. I didn’t get to the fest every day this year, just the first Friday and Thursday to Saturday the second weekend. Broke my leg on the way the last Sunday and missed that day.

Another great place to hear Cajun, Louisiana Creole and zydeco music online is from KRVS-FM.  Locally 88.7 FM, but availble through http://www.krvs.org through the Internet.  Not only do they play the music, they speak the language, so you can hear and learn genuine Cajun French.  Monday through Friday from 5:00am to 7:00am (US Central Time, UCT -6) hear the golden voiced Pete Bergeron’s show “Bonjour Louisiane.”  This guy is fantastic.  He knows the music and the culture like few others.  On Saturday from 7:00am to noon, John and M.C. host “Zydeco Est Pas Sale.”  This program is bilingual and likely the only source for Louisiana Creole French.  They’re big on interviewing anyone who drops by the studio (yours truly once) and to lots of shout outs and promotion for local dances and trail rides.  On Sundays hear Louis Michot from 7:00am to 9:00am with “Le Reviel” and Gurvais Matte’s “Dimanche Matin” from 9:00am to noon.  I’m not familiar with Louis Michot’s program and can’t comment, but if he’s the same Louis Michot with the Lost Bayou Ramblers, this show should be fantastic.  Gurvais Matte’s program is en Francais, so here’s your other opportunity to hear Cajun French.  Herman Fuselier is a well-known author on all styles of South Louisiana music.  His program “Zydeco Stomp” airs on Saturdays from noon to 3:00pm.   “Bal de Demanche Apres Midi” with Nonc Jules Guidry (“Uncle Jules Guidry”).  This program is also in Cajun French.  And that’s not all:  there are other programs devoted to all types of Louisiana music (complete program schedule).  And they are a public radio station, sponsored by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, so they accept contributions.

For a good start with Cajun, Creole, and zydeco music, listen to WWOZ-FM, 90.7 FM locally, on Sundays, from noon to 2:00 pm local time (US Central Time, GMT -6). Charles Laborde does programming.  He is a Cajun, native of Marksville, LA.  He’s got a great collection of music.  Charles knows the music and the culture and selects the best range of music, from old time to string band to country-style to modern.  I engineer shows and from time to time I substitute program. Occasionally you’ll hear Cajun, Creole and zydeco on other shows, but this is the only one devoted entirely to French music from Louisiana. WWOZ is a listener-supported, community broadcaster and accept contributions.

Thanks to Kateri Yager Laborde for putting me onto these folks.  The Cajun Company is a traditional Cajun band from the Netherlands, made up of Dutch members.

  • The Cajun Company. Testing One One.  Deltatone Music, 1996. 17 tracks.
  • The Cajun Company. La Robe de Rosalie.  Deltatone Music, 2001.  18 tracks.
  • The Cajun Company. La Prairie Ronde.  Deltatone Music, 2007.  18 tracks.

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