An NPR blogger was so impressed with The Blue Moon Saloon and its mainstay of young Cajun bands, he ponders whether the South Louisiana trend of younger Cajun musicians could take off in other parts of the country.
Geoffrey Himes writes in NPR’s “A Blog Supreme” that the emergence of bands like the Pine Leaf Boys, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet and the Red Stick Ramblers has sparked a revival in Cajun music that’s spread to a younger generation of locals looking for live music:
This Jazz Fest appearance was just an example of what happens at Lafayette’s Blue Moon Saloon every weekend. On the tavern’s half-covered back porch, young Cajun bands play for crowds dominated by twentysomethings going out to drink and dance on a Saturday night — not Baby Boomers looking for exotic culture and aerobic exercise.
As a result, Cajun music has shaken off its museum dust and returned to its origins as social music. It’s become more muscular to keep its young audience on the dance floor, and has embraced new songwriting and modern influences to keep those kids coming back. It’s a culture that’s no longer just preserving its past, but also redefining its present.
While backstage at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Himes asked Wilson Savoy, son of Cajun icons Marc and Ann Savoy, his thoughts on the potential for these young Cajun bands to join other genres of string bands in attracting much larger audiences across state lines. Savoy says the Cajun French dialect and the accordion are two reasons why the local scene could be less appealing to outsiders, but also adds that the accordion is one instrument that draws dancers to the floor at out-of-state venues:
Young people in Lafayette are used to hearing Cajun French; many of them even make a point of speaking it the way kids in other cities use rap slang — as a way to separate themselves from mainstream culture. But kids in other cities can find it a barrier.
“If you kick off a song with fiddle, the dancers hang back to see what’s going to happen,” he says. “But once the accordion jumps in, the dancers are right there. And that’s as true in Austin or North Carolina as it is in Lafayette. When we play in places like that, we find an audience that’s attuned to any music that comes out of a distinctive culture. Even if they didn’t grow up in that culture, they can tell if the music is real or fake.”
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Columnist Jim Beam finds recent news out of Baton Rouge depressing. It seems every time you turn around there's another mess being uncovered or announced in state government, he says. Say what you want about Congress; in Louisiana we have nothing to brag about, either, he says.
JUL 22 Blogger Tom Aswell reports here that several legislators plan to ask for an investigation of the last-minute action that bumped State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement income by $30K. One is gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards, who says he did vote for the amendment, but didn't read it - as he rarely does during the last hours of session.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 LaPolitics examines the news that a bipartisan group of legislators filed court papers Monday asking a judge to decide if BESE followed proper procedure in installing Common Core as the curriculum to be followed by state teachers. The allegation is that BESE didn't do that, by failing to open a comment period and shirking legislative oversight. Great, but where were these guys back when the decision was actually made?
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
JUL 22 This post on Gambit is an interesting look at an age-old discussion among people who live and work in urban areas - is graffiti property damage or public art? There are a lot of voices in this story, covering a lot of the bases of this conflict.
JUL 21 Education Week's EdWatch blog takes a look at our current snafu over Common Core in this post. To anyone outside the state, we certainly look like a bunch of dummies who can't agree on something as critical as what to teach our kids. That's good - right?
JUL 21 Rob Marciano, a former meteorologist at KPLC in Lake Charles, has been named senior weather guy at ABC, this post on TVNewser reports. In between those gigs he worked for CNN and Entertainment Tonight.
JUL 21 This story on The ABC out of Australia gives Louisiana some international notoriety that we really don't want. According to this story, Louisiana is one of the fastest-disappearing land masses on the planet. The planet. So, obviously we need to hold off on that levee board suit, because making Big Oil mad is much more serious than this.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly