| 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 .
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Homecoming outfits with ease
Acadian style home in St. Martinville or traditional Breaux Bridge home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
San Fran wins the World Series; Sistine Chapel improvements; Kurds moving toward Syria and more national and international news for Thursday, October 30, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
Saints fans were to gather, make merry, eat/drink compliments of a new Downtown group and watch the Saints beat Carolina and claim 1st place in the NFC South. But...
Three bedroom traditional or four bedroom traditional in Lafayette
Our fav dress for all seasons
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
Shoppers familiar with Louisiana-based Rouses Market might be surprised when they walk into the new third location set to open at the Corner of Johnston Street and Duhon Road south the Acadiana Mall on Wednesday.
Noted architect and co-founder/principal of Architects Southwest receives highest honor given to former student.
Know an innovator, job creator and visionary with a penchant for hard work? We want to know that person.
He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.