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.
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.
Laid back vibe just right for NOLA Bowl
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
Week long specials and a ribbon cutting celebration held in Parc Lafayette
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.
The festival is scheduled for March 21-22 in New Orleans.
NOLA Bowl ready prints