Although the 2nd anniversary of Katrina’s slam-bang of Southern Louisiana has passed, the area is still very much in the news and in the thoughts of a lot of people — not only those who still live there, but many others who have spent time in the area and retain fond memories.
With that in mind, it seemed to me to be a good time to simply recognize some practitioners of one of the area’s signature musical styles, one that always livens up the mood. Cajun music is our subject, and more specifically, the Acadien Cajun Band’s new album, All Night Long, due out soon on the Swallow Records label. This is the group’s second album, following their debut, 2004’s La Clarite.
The group’s name – Acadien Cajun Band – seems a little redundant, since Cajun is another form of Acadien (or Acadian, the more conventional spelling used on Amazon’s listing). But forget all that, because they can call themselves anything they want. The important fact to remember about this album is that the music is first class. These guys are the real thing, and their music is the kind you’d hear in any number of good Cajun dance halls or clubs. (And I’ve been in a few.)
Ryan Simon, the founder of the band and the guy manning the squeeze-box, handles many of the vocals, including the title song (which he also composed) a bouncing, driving tune that perfectly defines the genre. The rest of the group includes fiddler Brandon Moreau, guitarist Dwayne Michaud, Joe Romero on bass and drummer Jay Miller.
They’re also joined by a couple of guest artists, Ryan’s brother Drew Simon, who is a well-known Cajun singer and musician in his own right, and second fiddler Robin Bruck. Drew, who is normally a part of the Pine Leaf Boys, shows his vocal style – typically Cajun – on “I’m Not To Blame,” a slow ballad evocative of lost love.
In addition to the title tune, brother Ryan shows up well on “Nonc Charlot”, leading with his fiddle, and again on “One Time Too Many.” If you’re into dancing that song will do the job, but I especially enjoyed “Cankton Two Step,” a piece that’s impossible to resist.
Good stuff, coming our way direct from the bayou, the Acadien Cajun Band’s All Night Long.
(A few clips below.)
1. Cankton Two Step
2. Married to One & In Love with Another
3. One Time Too Many [une Fois Trop]
4. Chere Bassette
5. Lake Charles Two-Step
6. Fruge Waltz [La Valse des Fruges]
7. Nonc Charlot
9. I’m Not to Blame
10. Mad McGee [Medley]
11. Pound of Tobacco
12. I Will Be Waiting
13. All Night Long