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Re: Cleoma Falcon Created a got dam Maelstrom

Greezy, marci bocoo for the good story.

Thanks to all that fuss about Allons a Lafayette, I gave a good listen to the original recording of Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux, waxed on April 27th 1928.
For some reason, I had always assumed Cleoma f°°°°° up the chords, and quite beautifully at that, giving the tune a haunting presence (see my previous comment). I got that from several quick listens to the song, and a couple discussions with cajun musicians. It is true that the chord changes seem erratic at times, although rock solid rhythmically. So I took that for granted pretty much. And then you guys showed up saying the song might be in C and wondering about how the accordion part is played. All that talk made me wonder...

Is ths darn song really in G as I said it was? How come the erratic guitar backup sounds so good? How about the accordion part? Was Joe really playing a C box in the key of G?

And the more I thought about this "maelstrom of a tune" and how Cleoma - a seasoned musician - could have messed up basic chords on a recording session - a BIG thing at the time -, the more this hypothesis sounded phony. Seriously, would you believe that someone like Cleoma Breaux Falcon would have showed up at the studio not knowing precisely what to do and would have banged random chords on her guitar while the wax was running? Or maybe was she stressed out and paniced?

Why not. I recall reading somewhere (Wade Falcon's blog?) that there was a third musician with Cleoma and Joe that freaked out and did not sing (Joe sang instead, which was not the initial plan). And the producers in that NOLA studio weren't really into recording them at first, as they thought two musicians could not really cut it compared to the big bands they used to record. So there might have been some bad vibes / tension going on, which could have impacted Cleoma's performance.

But this explanation did not satisfy me totally. There had to be some sort of a logic behind this "erratic" backup at least partly responsible for the song's character and unmistakeable haunting beauty. Some sort of a logic that I couldn't quite decypher with my 21st century ears and brain.

Gotta go now. I'll let you know what I discovered tomorrow. I'm telling you, it is important stuff. This may very well change your perception of cajun music forever LOL.

Jamey Hall's most excellent Cajun Accordion Music Theory

Brett's all new Cajun Accordion Music Theory for all keys!

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