| Photo by Lucius Fontenot
It's so simple and yet so complex, so local and yet so foreign, so sublime and yet so irritating, that it's all just pure genius.
Christine Balfa's latest CD, Plays the Triangle would have been a tough sell in any market - an album that features over 45 minutes of Cajun music, 13 tracks in all, performed on nothing but a triangle. But Balfa's got the mad triangle skills to pay those musical bills.
About 33 minutes into listening Plays the Triangle, your brain freezes up, you forget who and where you are, and you question whether you've been subjected to the same song over and over again. Then your mind wonders into a happy place filled with cotton candy, rainbows, unicorns and Smurfs before your thoughts are derailed and take a detour straight into les flammes d'enfer. Seven hours after listening to Plays the Triangle, your hearing returns to normal, your vision clears up, that rash disappears, and you feel - strangely enough - both refreshed and violated.
Joshua Clegg Caffery - a Breaux Bridge man, a prolific writer of letters to newspaper editors, an all-around champion of the little people, and an expert on local stuff and things - says the CD should have been nominated for a Grammy Award. "It's breathtaking," he adds, as he wipes away a tear from his cheek.
But Caffery's not the only one who's falling in love with the t-fer all over again. Just two weeks after the album's release last year, it skyrocketed to the top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart, where it remained for 13 weeks. Then came the massive record deal from Universal Music Group - the owner of all of the music in the universe - for three more albums within the next year. And you guessed it: They will all feature Balfa's trademark solo triangle musical style.
Balfa was unavailable for comment as of press time. Balfa's husband, Dirk Powell, another local expert, says she is currently "woodshedding" for her upcoming year-long world tour. Powell readily admits that the year-long tour will be difficult for their family, but adds that it's all about exposing the rest of the world to the triangle. "This isn't about who's Cajun or who's Creole, or who can play the triangle or not," says Powell. "It's about putting all of our preconceived notions of the triangle to rest and coming at this with open ears. This is good for all of us, as Americans. We've got to come together. Right now. Over me."
But the Unsung Hero Award for this record must go to Chas Justus (aka Chaz Justice.)
Inside sources indicate that Justus, while in a drunken stupor at a boucherie, purportedly declared, "You know what y'all ought to do?" When no one answered, he continued. "Y'all ought to put out a CD of solo triangle music."
The alleged response of recording engineer Joel Savoy was, "That's not a bad idea." And Savoy knew that Balfa, with her triangle prowess, was the perfect candidate for the gig. After two months of recording over 1,000 songs, there were countless hours of listening, editing and mastering until the perfect 13 songs were selected. "It was maddening, I tell you," says Justus. "Just sheer madness."
But Justus sums up his true feelings about the project on the CD's liner notes: "Working with Christine on this record was effortless. Any artistic direction I could have given would have just gotten in the way of her purely simple yet nuanced style. Her playing transcends genre, stripping away superficiality and reaching directly to the core. It's playful, emotional and at times cathartic. Let her take you on a journey of musical discovery that channels the old masters yet remains innovative and uniquely Christine."
For more information about Christine Balfa's latest solo CD Plays the Triangle, visit valcourrecords.com .
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.