Vorance allowed Pilione to copy his tapes and Joel Savoy of Valcour Records converted them to digital files. This week, Pilione releases Live at Snook's, a two-volume set of the band's classic recordings. "It's not a slick recording quality sound," Pilione says. "It's how it would sound in the dance hall, which is what I like."
Maurice Berzas died in 1985, and the band dissolved. Vorance retired from performing for a year until Dewey Balfa convinced him to begin playing again. With Balfa, Vorance shared the stage with a budding young accordionist ' Steve Riley. When it came time for Riley to start his own band, he took the Mamou Playboys mantle.
This Friday, June 15 at Blue Moon Saloon, Riley and his Playboys join Pilione, Vorance and special guests for a performance of the vintage Playboys material and to perform a set of their own. The record sheds light on the original Mamou Playboys by capturing their renditions of dance hall favorites ("Evangeline Special," "M & S Special," "Grand Mamou,") and lesser-known gems ("Ville Platte Waltz," "Choupique Waltz").
During the peak of their career, the Playboys performed seven times a week. Saturdays they played KVPI's afternoon radio show, plus two separate dancehall gigs. Sundays offered no rest, with an afternoon and night dance in Basile. In the mid-50s, the Playboys reduced their load to about four shows a week. In Ville Platte, the band held the Saturday night slot at Snook's for 35 years. Despite the tremendous schedule, The Playboys never ventured outside of the Mamou, Basile and Ville Platte area, as Maurice was a tenant farmer and did not want to be far from his crops. Likewise, recording was not a priority.
"I wish he would have wanted to make more (records)," says Vorance of his father. "He was satisfied playing locally, playing dances."
Pilione's glad to make these rare recordings available. "Projects such as these are not ever going to be big sellers, will not draw the interest of big labels, but that is not the point," she says. "My projects don't have to make me a fortune, they just need to be presented to those who want to experience a little of the Cajun scene as it was 20 or so years ago. I think it is really important for people to know who Maurice Berzas and the original Mamou Playboys were and what great music they made."
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and members of the original Mamou Playboys play a CD-release party at 8 p.m. Friday, June 15 at the Blue Moon Saloon. Admission is $10.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.