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Re: Travis Matte and the demise of Cajun values in the eyes of the world...

Wow... what a great thread/topic!!

Also extremely impressed for the lack of personal attacks, most folks just sharing their perspective in a respectful manner.

I DJ'd Zydeco dances for years and remember when Travis's CD's were first coming out many years ago. I was a little shocked by the lyrics, Vibrator and a few others, but found them quiet entertaining with the understanding that the music audience is BIG and it's not just Cajun/Zydeco dancing folks who could appreciate the combination of syncopated rhythm, some accordion, and catchy/memorable lyrics.

If you asked dancers what the lyrics were for the songs they enjoy, I would bet a third don't even know what the words are or what the meaning or story line is behind them.

BooZoo's Uncle Bud mentioned in a previous thread is a Perfect example. I have seen the "dirty" version of this played at huge festivals with a ton of family's, kids, etc... most people have no idea what they are saying. (context is everything)... it's delivered in a fun, entertaining matter and that's all the people experience.

Primarily as a Zydeco dancer, my most favorite song most all the bands play is Motordude Zydeco Special. The lyrics are EXTREMELY simple (Hey Catin, Hey Tee-Fee), but the melody, percussion and other instruments can make this PURE HEAVEN when played well.

Just like any form of media, if i don't like it.. i can turn the channel.

I think it was Chris Ardoin but I maybe mistaken, talking at a question and answer session at a BIG C/Z festival, said it when he mixed Zydeco with R&B, his crowds doubled in size. Who is to criticize wanting 200 or 300+ at any event vs 100 etc..

Ironically I really don't like the R&B Zydeco style to dance to, I prefer the Keith Frank style stuff (maybe i am old fashion). If the song has a longer story line inside it, I really don't connect to it as much as the simple, catchy lyrics with a magical melody and heavy syncopated percussion rhythm.

On another note.. Traditional cajun artists do many things wonderfully, and one is the length of their songs and they don't run them together. Can't tell you how frustrating it is as a dancer that you want to dance with as many people as possible at any event, only to have some (highly talented), Zydeco artists run songs together so 8 minutes for a song... that's equal to 3 traditional Cajun tunes sometimes!!

I have also traveled in countries where there was not freedom of speech and learned from others i have met that here in the US we take for granted the ability to say what we want, to anyone or a group of people and it only takes a little traveling to realize just how important this is..when you don't have it.

Thanks again to everyone for their perspective and respect for others opinions on this topic and hope to see you on the dance floor !!!


Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

dont like that musik or them other boye bouslee that aind cajuns musik we dont keer for it raymond my boy plays that collard rapps song by savvoy sams chickens makes me sicxk teebooger

Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Can you say that "Diggy Liggy" isn't Cajun music??

Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Whoa! I miss a day on this forum and one of the most introspective discussions ever! Great stuff, indeed.

Like I said in the beginning, you either like Travis' music or not. Few people ride the fence on what he's doing. I'm obviously in the minority of people on this forum who truly admires what he's producing. I think it's impossible to compare him to other bands in the neo-Trad Cajun category other than his age bracket and his handsome appeal. We're not talking about Travis playing Cajun music -- when you slice it and dice it, it is zydeco.

Where Travis line gets a little blurry is he's not Creole -- and 95% of the audience that love J.Paul, Keith Frank and Chris Ardoin don't even recognize Travis as within the same genre. Likewise, "Cajuns" don't accept him for playing bass-heavy repetitive riffs, lack of French lyrics and overt bawdy themes -- nothing that "new" in the realm of zydeco. So Travis' music stands alone without a bucket to fall into. This is one reason why he's been very successful.

Another reason for his success lies in the fact that he doesn't stick to the typical songwriting formula in terms of chord structuring. He can create a melodic hook better than anyone else I've heard. This is the element that attracts me to his music and I'm 44 years old.

Case in point -- I cover Vibrator in my band. Most people who hear us play it don't have a clue who Travis Matte is. It's one of the biggest dance numbers we do -- it packs the floor when we do it. I'm not Travis Matte but I can tell you that people love that beat, in that key and that melody. The lyrics are tertiary -- I could sing about trees falling in the woods and people would still jam with us on that tune.

It's easy to rebuke Travis on thongs, panties and booty themes, but if you actually purchase his discs and listen to all his tunes, you'll find there's more to Travis' music than just these concepts; as a whole, they comprise less than a third of his repertoire. It's true that a couple of these risqué tunes make the radio stations in heavy rotation -- so that probably stimulates the notion of them "flying off the shelves."

I guess I consider myself very lucky as I love, listen to, and enjoy many kinds of music -- everything from traditional Cajun (Jimmy Breaux and Ray Abshire are my heroes) to hip-hop, zydeco (old-school and new) and Caribbean music. I love it all and I guess I'm just not that easily embarrassed -- and not ashamed to say Travis Matte & the Zydeco Kingpins are one of my favorite bands. But then again, I'm not from Louisiana -- but with all due respect, Lake Charles is my second home.


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Cheers to you for listening to lots of different kinds of music, Rick. I do too! And I'm not against Travis for singing about panties and whatever else. It's pop music. "R&B". (When did this kind of music rape THIS genre??)

Isn't neo-Trad a bit of an oxymoron? Traditional is traditional, new is new. At least, that's how it works in my book, but I like to keep things pretty black and white.

My problem is with people calling it "Zydeco". It's got nothing to do with Zydeco. Musically, it's modern R&B with occasional accordion and a ska rhythm here and there. Thematically, it's rap or R&B, without the soul. What's Zydeco about any of that??

I don't think he's doing anything so original or special and that this is what's attracting so many people. "We're LSU LSU We're number one and we're coming for you"?? It's packaged. It's easy. There's nothing to think about. The music is simple enough for anyone to get it. It's pop. People who can't relate to the more roots-y music fall for this because it's CALLED Zydeco by people who don't know any better, so they think they're finally enjoying their culture.

Again, I've got nothing against Travis as a person. It's just the excitement over this music that gets to me. It's not the music itself, not the theme, just the huge misunderstanding about what it really is (or isn't, for that matter).


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I hear what you are saying, Sarah. I don't know when this type of music raped the genre, but i would guess that the 70's had a lot to do with that -- if you look into the history books, that is.

A lot of people would say the 60's ushered in the sense of free-love et al; but I'd say the 70's did more to perverse society than the 60's ever did. That said, I don't believe booty zydeco is really a fancy of the new millenium, but it is certainly a product of a blending of cultures. Those cultures are hip-hop cognition and traditional subsistence, as observed with many current zydeco bands. The urbanization of zydeco has neutalized the rural aspect of its roots in favor of themes that are more representative of "big city" models.

This is obviously difficult for small-town ideolgy to consume -- as a whole -- unless you are part of the society that keeps getting swept under the rug; which remains an issure in regards to the segregation aspect in S. LA. Hip-hop music is HUGE in the rural towns of southern Louisiana. You can ignore it but you can't escape its purpose. It's huge.

Rap and hip-hop will always be a viable vehicle by which musicians will reach their targeted audiences in places from Eunice to Lafayette connecting messages across the depressed sector of southern Louisiana. So why not embrace a guy like Travis, who is spinning things in a fun and animated way, while capturing the essence of that groove in a lighthearted manner? Why not?

I'm a huge fan of hip-hop as well as (contemporary and traditional) Cajun and Creole music, and I can tell you it's not a place where the majority of music fans rest, it's rather am enigma. But I can tell you from my vantage point, I see the future of zydeco music and its connection with the masses. And zydeco will be the vehicle that will garner nationwide public appeal before traditional Creole and Cajun music. Artist like Travis, Chirs Ardoin and J.Paul will make it happen... But that's just my opinon.... just hide and watch...


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Of course modern Zydeco is more palatable to the masses. We had Corey Ledet here in Moscow a couple summers ago and the crowds he played for went absolutely nuts. Obviously, they couldn't relate to his music. Whether he was singing in English or in French didn't make a difference. It was the rhythm, that charging-and-pulling-back accordion, giving you what you want, then teasing you again, back and forth. It's hot! But that's Zydeco.

Travis isn't playing Zydeco. Chris Ardoin doesn't play Zydeco. I don't know have the slightest clue who the heck J. Paul is, but I'll admit I'm a little out-of-the-loop. Zydeco has had ears ******** up across the world since the early '80s, at least, but that was Zydeco.

I didn't get your point about one thing--which is an eningma? Hip-hop? Or Cajun/Creole/Zydeco? I certainly don't think that the roots music of South Louisiana is gobbling up the main market share of the music industry. It's small, like all roots music. Flamenco? Bluegrass? Tex-Mex? Gypsy? Ethiopian? Haha. The only way any semblance (key word) of any roots music is going to amass nationwide appeal on a major level is to "modernize" (my dad would so eloquently say "*******ize" ) the roots origin to the point that it is too distorted to be picked out as the main influence. THAT's what this music is.

Hip-hop music IS huge in towns like those in which Travis and I grew up. Know why? Because it's easy, the emotions are put right there for those lesser-minded individuals (who unfortunately over-populate these towns, as they have nothing better to do) to pick up and not have to think about, the rhythms offered are familiar because they are natural, perhaps even carnal (some would say), and therefore familiar. No offense to you, as a fan of hip-hop. I've got some Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot in my CD collection, among others. I'm just talking about MOST of them, and it's got nothing to do with race. It's all white boys making a big deal out of what they're listening to in towns like Eunice or Maurice.

"This is obviously difficult for small-town ideology to consume as a whole--unless you are part of the society that keeps getting swept under the rug, which remains an issue in regards to the segregation aspect in S. LA." You don't mean to tell me, I hope, that Cajuns haven't been getting swept under the rug all this time too? It's not a question of color. I think that's racist. It's simply a matter of majority and minority. Cajuns, as representatives of a decidedly ethnological group, as well as black and white Creoles alike, have been getting pushed right under said rug with all the other minority groups. Why? Because we have people like Teebooger perpetuating our bad reputations as being uneducated, "backwords", and otherwise unappealing to the masses.

And it's the theme that matters! It's the themes that define us! When you pick up different themes in order to cleanse the music of its rural imagery, you're distilling it from its beauty. That image is the roots! That's what makes it what it is.

I'm all for moderization, however. (Wait a second! I realize that might sound funny here.) I've been co-writing some songs with a French friend for my band because I think we do need to update a few of our themes. But "updating" and "neglecting" are two very different things. The songs I'm going to be putting on my album are that of an independent, strong, fun-loving, modern woman who still holds her culture dear. This, when you think about traditional themes in Cajun music, is pretty revolutionary! Songs that, instead of saying, "Oh, you left me and now I'm going to die, deep down in the ground, forever--SORROW!!" are going to say, "You don't let me do anything, so I'm happy to be leaving you! I'm going to go out and have some drinks with my friends, go out to the courtbouillons and the honky tonks, and I'm going to be just fine!" and drinking songs that ask both men and women to come drain a bottle or two with me--these aren't your average Cajun songs. They are modern, but they're still Cajun. I want them to appeal to modern people who love our roots music. BUT they're in French--watch out! I know I'm not going to be having any records flying off of any shelves. I'll be happy if someone even picks it up to release it instead of doing it myself. But I know that I'll reach a few people who hadn't really looked at the music before, and that's all that matters to me. It's back to what we're selling, and I'll go with that smaller, more interesting group.

Oh! I just thought about this, too--I was invited to do a roots collaboration with some guys in a pretty famous (lately) gypsy punk band. One is Ethiopian, one is a Ukranian Gypsy (ancesters were, anyway). They wanted to blend Ethiopian rhythms with Gypsy melodies and Cajun instruments and themes (since the themes are slightly related anyway). This could have done rather well with their millions of fans, and I probably could have made a big name for myself that way, but I declined, flattered as I was. Why? Because I don't want my roots to blend. They've grown from a nice coctail as it is and I don't think I need to add anything.

It's just personal.

And, with that, I'll say here that I'm going to stop posting on this subject. It could go on forever. I'll read your posts, if any of you have anything else to say, just out of fairness, but it's going to go off in too many directions if we continue it. Furthermore, all these ideas are the same ones I've been fighting right along with my dad for at least the past eight years when I started writing to local and national papers and magazines begging everyone to vote against there being a Grammy specifically for Cajun and Zydeco music. It's the same thing. I'll keep up my fight, but I can't reach and sway everyone. It wouldn't be so much fun if I could! This has been fun, guys, and maybe I'll catch you on some other post.


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Sarah -- good stuff. I love your spirited perspective and respect it. It's a pleasure to be able to interface with you here in this forum. Perhaps we will meet again in Eunice -- that would be very cool!

We may be divided on musicial sub-genres and what makes it all tick, but we are united in our love of Louisiana, its vital cultures and its unique force in the world of music.

Best of luck with your new recordings -- they sound like they are some fresh nourishment for the roots; the community radio station (KNON 89.3 FM) I DJ on here in Dallas on Monday nights would love to put it in rotation for you.

Merci! -- or as they say in Amharic, "Amesega Nalehu!"


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Wow, I was led to this site by a friend and for people who seem to know everything about music and how proud everyone is of their heritage yet I can't recall one song written in French that is known by anyone opposing what we do as a band!?
Everyone has quotes from what their daddy said...mine said "if you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything"!
Everyone is so concerned with their culture surviving but yet their is no other type of music (Country, Rock or any type for that mater) that has survived by doing what Chris Miller (since he took a cheap shot at me!)is doing and that is playing/copying old songs from the past that have been recorded hundred and some thoussand of times over but has the nerve to bad mouth what we are doing! Out of nearly 60 songs I've written their are a hand full that are directed to the crowds we play for which are a younger audience in night clubs and the hand full of songs that are not what someone wants their child to hear is fine with me, but Elvis' music was not "child" material in it's time either and if you look back at the "traditional" songs you find they were not "child" fitting either...."One Scotch, One Bourbon and One Beer", "Making love in the chicken coop", "Uncle Bud" and most of the older songs are either about drinking or someone's women left them for another and most of the rest don't make much sense once translated? If I want to play for a group 35 and younger and someone wants to play to a group 70 and older then that is totally cool...he lives in America where he can do that?
Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts aren't what Country music was in the 70's but George Jones and Conway Twitty were not considered Country to the Country from the 40's and 50's. Same goes for Rock - Elvis was teh King of Rock and Roll but he doesn't sound anything like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin or Motley Crue and they don't sound like rock bands of this day and age such as Sublime or Red Hot Chile Peppers?
Cajun Bands all sound different as well - Aldus didn't sound like Iry or Amadee Ardoin and Belton mixed his Country style and was slammed for doing so and NOW he is considered "Traditional"? Wayne was also slammed for doing a rock style with his Zydecajun and was not accepted with the "Traditional Cajun Crowd" but he and guys like Belton did more for the younger people getting involved than any other band at that time period!?
Most "Traditionalist" just don't like CHANGE in any shape or form and any major business that wants to grow and expand has to accept change and growth and has to let other influence besides what THEY consider to be the way of doing things!?
I've played Cajun music with bands such as Belon, Sheryl Cormier and Jason Frey, Zydeco with bands liek Dexter Ardoin and Geno, ZydeCajun with Wayne Toups and have played Country with bands like Blaine Roy and Kip Sonnier and have done studio work for all of these styles...so, to say Travis has "Changed" and I noticed Sarah mentioned she had nothing against me personally but at the same time said I wasn't the same from when I played with Jason.....I love all of the Savoy family and actually met Ann last week and your brothers and I am sure you truly have nothing against me personally but for the record not ONE thing has changed about me? I go to work during the week and play music on the weekends just as I have always done? When I played Cajun fiddle I may have played 4 other gigs that week with different types of bands...so, even when I was playing what you guys consider "traditional" music I was playing "Non-traditional" the same weekend?
My earlier point with the whole traditional thing is this - most bands that are considered traditional now were not traditional in their time.
You mentioned traditional Zydeco....Clifton played blues music on a piano accordion and was considered lala music in it's time, John Delafose played a different style of Zydeco and so did Beau Jocque, Keith Frank and Chris Ardoin and now J-Paul has "Changed the game"! I love ALL of the bands I mentioned, I grew up LOVING Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, Old and new rock, Hip Hop, Country and everything in between...so, if I want to mix all of that and form MY OWN BAND then I have that right to do so and write whatever songs I want to write, sing and play? We called our band Zydeco because it was the closet genre of music we could find to what we did and is why we labeled our first CD "Dis aint'cha momma's zodico"..it was to say we are calling our band Zydeco but it s not your "Traditional Zydeco" and was made clear on the title and papers and radio?
There will ALWAYS be bands that can hear and old record and copy the licks and play just like it in weeks and myself as a musician and music lover not just ONE STYLE of music wants to see all of these styles in one package and if I enjoy what I am doing and thoussands of others around the world are buying our records then why would anyone have any problem with that???
If I saw a local band becoming successful at what they were doing and it drew attention worldwide to our local area and made them want to learn more then so be it, I would be happy for them and their success? We are nobody else is saying we are doing anything TRADITIONAL and all of our write ups and press kits state very clearly that we are not about that and do our own style of music and maybe it needs it's own genre but you can't do that for stores to be able to place your material.
I say for all of the music that I don't like I just don't buy the material or listen to them on the air! Most of the new Cajun stuff out there I wouldn't give a dime for and everyone talking about their grandfathers....well, my grandfather would roll over if he would hear this crappy music that everyone is calling "Traditional" and he won several fiddle contest and my Great Grandfather Pierre Bearb who never recorded anything would say the same and I will quote Aldus Roger when I mentioned my Great Grandfather would floor bounce at Tee Maurice and he said "Pierre Bearb was the best accordion player I ever heard in my life"! I also have an Uncle Ricky Bearb who has won over 100 accordion contest and still is to this day and trust me THEY KNOW what traditional french music was and their feelings are just as mine and my grandfather before he dies heard a notable Cajun band and said to me "what is it coming to"!?
Traditional music to some means music from the past and to others it means music of our local culture past and present....if you take the latter statement and look at our local culture both young and old and the majority says that they voted our band number one new band and number one Zydeco band...then WHY would someone say we are representing to the world what our culture is like....if they come to Lousiana they are not going to see people from the 40's they will see our culture in present form and if we are voted high in those votes, record sales and radio request then why would that not be a true representation of what the local people like?
Myself along with several friends and familie members went out to Mardi Gras parades and some parades up to 70% of the floats were playing our music? Is that not what people from out of our area would want to know and hear?
I like you guys also love the old Cajun music and without that we wouldn't have any of what we are doing today but at the same time we have to thank others like Belton Richard and Wayne Toups who opened other doors that Traditional bands couldn't open!?
People like Rick Reid who thinks as myself and is open minded about the music has a total different outlook.
I saw where someone mentioned about turning the station because of their kid hearing it.....now, if a kid in this day and age can't hear the term Booty Call then he can't ride the bus to school and hear other radio stations that play hip hop songs and even Country songs today! You would have to also shelter them from the TV and even commercials! Trust me I heard more words and terms in Elementary school then what we say in our songs and again people only see those hand full of songs and don't see songs like "night to remember", "shoulda coulda" and "without you I'm not me".
Usually when I answer anyone back whether email or forum they say that they must have struck a nerve and I say I've heard it all and I have a big back and realize that people are very close minded when it comes to their contradictions to music and more so when speaking of local music. I try not to take pety stuff personal and I believe that anyone who does anything different in any shape or form will have huge criticism? Trust me I don't complain when we get thoussands of emails with people who love what we do opposed to the hand full of people who don't! We knew when we recorded our material that we would have a fan base that would enjoy the new material and knew that we would get opposition from those who did not want to accept any kind of music that had an accordion in it that wasn't run of the mill re-recorded music.
I think if most people would take the time they put into these forums into writing new "Traditional" songs then there would be a huge interest in it instead of looking and policing who isn't doing, saying or playing what they consider to be traditional?
I will say it again I am a huge fan of older Cajun and very few newer Cajun Bands. I think Aldus Roger was the King and I think Steve Riley was the last person to take the accordion playing to another level.
Oh and thanks Rick for the support my brother!Ha
Sarah, I still love you baby!ha
Chris Miller, I think it was unprofessional to go on a public forum and try to slam another musician!

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From your posting, I believe that there are a few things that you may not inderstand.

Traditional Cajun music is Folk Music. It does not get old - and it does not go away. It will continue and it will continue to have value. The standard by which its value is measured has nothing to do with money or "popularity." Folk music is played by people who believe in what they play, and one can always tell that when listening to their music.

To me, that is the supreme value of "cultural" music. It can affect people's lives, and it has. Some day, the world will discover that. Then the world may become a better place. That has nothing to do with money or temporal popularity, but it sure is powerful.

Jack Bond

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Jack....did I say that it had anything to do with Money or Popularity or did you say that part!?
As far as what I do or don't understand about the music....I think myself and my family have played it long enough and lived it to know a little more than your quotes!
The end resuly is everyone has an opinion and becomes religious to certain people and just like religion everyone has their own beliefs and yet every single person thinks they are 100% right and the other 7 billion are wrong....well, in music there is no right or wrong...you play what you feel and some will like it and others won't...very simple!?
You mentioned Traditional Music is Folk Music...did I say it wasn't? You said it doesn't get old...I agree the old songs are laid down and are great but what I mentioned was for a music to grow you can't have bands just continue to copy the same music over and over and over again and expect the music to attract a new younger audience and again that is "MY OPINION"!??
You said it is powerful.....again, I didn't say it wasn't? I think ALL MUSIC is powerful and all music affects people in different ways and I don't need anyone telling me what music to play or what to listen to...I play what I feel and never claimed it to anything other than that?
What have you written and recorded?

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Well said Travis. Though I havent heard much of your music, and it may not be my cup of tea, I support anyone doing their thing. Like I keep saying, it's all good to somebody. Keep on keeping on.

Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

What an interesting exchange of points of view!

Without getting into the quagmire of trying to pinpoint definition of what is "traditional" or "folk", I'll just add my two cents' worth to this discussion.

Music, like language evolves over time and follows its people. Like literature or visual arts, it should reflect the state of mind of a people at a certain time.

When it comes to Cajun music, as much as I find it enjoyable to listen, play and sign "old-traditional" Cajun songs, I also believe that there is a need for the writing of "new" material to reflect today's society.
I actually had an interesting conversation on this subject with one of the members of the Mamou Playboys last year. To me, Steve Riley and David Greely are examples of mordern Cajun artists who are advancing the music and culture by creating new current lyrics and new music while blending it with the old one, in French to boot!

Could Steve Riley and the MPs' material be considered as "traditional" in 50 years? Very possibly.

I didn't know Travis Matte until I read this post. I just listened to a couple of his clips on MySpace. Good for him! It sounds like a modern version of Zydeco and he's attracting the younger crowd. What's wrong with that??? Crude words, so what? When you look at history, influencial artists of all kinds (visual, musical, etc.) are the ones who have gone beyond and challenged the paradigms of their society at their time. That's how things evolve...
And Sarah: I can't wait to hear your new songs with modern lyrics!

At the end of the day, there's no right or wrong, or black or white, or this definition is better than that one. It's all about expression in a free society.


Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Well said! As you guys can see I take what I do passionate as everyone else does!
Thx brother!

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Okay, okay, if Mr. Matte HIMSELF is getting in on this, I guess I gotta jump back in!

Travis, I'm impressed with how you've presented your case. I don't need to tell you what I think about the music you're doing now (you didn't ask and you know what they say about opinions, afterall! ). The only reason I got up on this forum on this topic was to tell people that, as far as I'm concerned, what you're playing is not Zydeco and shouldn't be called that. You said yourself in your first post that you guys only called it that because it was the closest genre to what you were doing, NOT the genre itself.

SO how have you changed? Honey, I haven't seen you in ages. I've changed too, and that's 'cause I've been doing my own thing. So maybe that's all it is. Growing up and all that... I heard Wilson was covering one of your songs every now and then and I gave him a hard time about it, but he said it's just for fun, not to take it so seriously, and people just enjoy it.

Well, that's you guys, and this is me. So I'll be a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. I'm not SO traditional, as you yourself well know, but I'm more for doing new mixes of the genres that people have already mixed in. Not so new and radical for me! But I like everything you've had to say for yourself.

I'm moving back in December. I'll come see your band, see you, try to get past the thonged women to say "hi", I'll tell you your music sucks, you'll tell me to kiss off, and we'll have a beer. Deal?

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Now that's the Sarah I know!Ha
You buy me a drink and I'll get you some Booty Call thongs!Ha
O.K now I want to hear Wilson and his band cover our stuff...that's funny! Wilson is a character and he helped us a lot with all of our video stuff and commercials! He is Marc Savoy all over again!ha
I have ben wanting to hear them play but our schedules always conflict!
Look forward to seeing you in Dec.!
Take care,

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I got a better idea--let's skip the thongs and you'll come to a BBQ another day and play some of that great swing fiddle and sing "Catch My Fiddle". The beer will flow freely.

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Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

I have enjoyed reading this the last couple of days and thought I would put in my own opinions.
Do I think Travis plays cajun music? No
Do I think Travis plays zydeco music? No
Do I like Travis' music? Absolutely.
Far and away my favorite music is what I would call traditional cajun music.Give me Nathan Abshire or Lawrence Walker anytime. But if you were to look at the CD's in my truck, you would also see George Staite, Red Hot Chilli Peppers,and Dr. Dre right along with Nathan, Balfa Bros',Brian Smith, and Chris Miller.
My point is, not everyone likes every type of music. Travis never claimed to be a traditional cajun musician. I enjoy listening to talented musicians play any kind of music. And there is no denying that Travis has tons of talent. And anyone who can become sucsessful doing what they love, I say good for them.
I will always remain faithful to and support band's that play traditional style cajun music. And with younger players such as Dirk Powell, Brian Smith, Courtney Granger, and Brandon Moreau as well as many others around, I know our music wil be here for a long time.

Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

We could sure go crazy trying to put labels on things and getting anyone to agree on it. Kinda like that old Cajun/Creole definition thing. I vote we do away with labels and just listen to and play what we want, cuz it's all good to sumbody. Hein??

Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Amen! My take on music appreciation - if you want someone to take a closer look and appreciate Traditional Cajun or Creole music...you have to RESPECT their music as well!?
Music bashing creates more music bashing! My experience with playing with GREAT musicians is this - when you play with beginners they cut each other down and when you play for 6 years with a steel guitar genuis like Richard Comeaux you learn that they compliment and respect each others abilities and appreciate the fact that we all bring something different to the table!

Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Wow....AMEN to you brother!
Sound like myself! I grew up with every style of music loaded in my music players and still to this day I have so many different styles of music from traditional to brand new material and I love and respect ALL of it!
Go David!ha

Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant


Thank you for responding to my email and I am glad that you accepted my apology for any hint of me attacking you personally. For the sake of others involved in this thread and the discussion board as a whole, here is my rambling attempt to clear things up.

I meant my first post and only other post on this subject to be my opinion of society trends and what is hot nowadays. It was not intended to be a direct assault on you (Travis), nor did I address to Travis, or did I ever think Travis would read it. If it sounded personal, I apologize. I'm sorry; that was never what I intended. What is personal to me is how I feel about the trend in many popular music styles to cater to the party crowd and the way it seems wilder and less left to the imagination than music of days gone by. And it seems like Travis' music joined the in the chorus of "booty songs" that have become so popular.

I respect Travis' musicianship and success and have no quarrel with that. I have never called any of his recordings "crap." I really do see how it is all trendy and catchy. That trait, in and of itself, it great and it is necessary for the music to sell. I like Barbecue and Drink a few...just don't like the trend of more and more "booty music" and I wonder if that subject is really necessary for his success. I wish you(Travis) could prove that it is not...my suggestion with original post was that the subject matter of "booty this" and "panty that" is what is creating some of the attention...but I know that he is a killer fiddle player and he has one of the most successful things in our regional music going right now...the biggest thing since Wayne Toups. He has developed a very catchy, trendy and marketable brand of music. I take nothing away from him on that.

Travis--I am not pretending that the two us us are competing. You are doing way more music than I am. I am not jealous. I was not trying to sound like I know more than you and/or that what I do musically is better or more valid. I never ever talked about my music as compared to yours; you made the comparison and called my music crap. I am a father of four children, a school teacher and a church choir director. We are coming at things from two completely different persepectives.

I personally don't like the subject matter or at least the titles of the songs. I have played the clubs and all that in the past...doing some Cajun, Rock and other styles and I know about that scene. I just don't care for it anymore. I guess I got too old.

As far as I know, Travis' music is no where near as XXX rated as those BooZoo songs Deacon Jones and Uncle Bud. So I don't think that he is the sole person who invented the subject matter. There is plenty of it in every style and in every time...even back in the middle ages and beyond probably. He is right. For his audience in the nightclubs it fits. The rap and hip-hop is dirtier than anything I ever heard of his. I just wish with all the success and power Travis has right now, that he use the opportunity to raise our culture up in a good light...that is all.

Travis--I am old-fashioned and sort of sheltered as you say. I don't think I am the only one...but, maybe I am. You are right about Elvis and all that...man, I laughed and laughed when I heard Vibrator...it's catchy and funny! I did not think it was such a nasty song...by just the title, however, it seems like it would be Xrated. And when I read the titles of, I guess your latest CD, it just seemed to be more of the trend. I have not heard the actual songs. I don't know what you sing in them. Maybe if I listened, I would laugh along just like I did for Vibrator. It just seems like you are playing to the racy side of things which makes perfect business sense. I just was wondering if it is crucial to you success or not. It was a society question--not a personal question
addressed to you.

It just seems like the values in the Cajun life that I like and the themes in some of the popular songs are diverging. I was hoping that somehow the lyrics didn't haveto go the route that Travis seems to be taking them...for the sake of the culture. Honestly, I really don't know that much of Travis' lyrics except Barbecue, Vibrator, and Booty Call...the lyrics might not be as racy as I think that it would be. Maybe it all fits in the modern world and I am the oddball--probably so...I've been seen as odd by others before.

Again, I meant my first post and only other post on this subject to be my opinion of society trends and what is hot nowadays and why I think (only my opinion of why) it might be hot. It seems like the Cajun/Creole culture is deeper than party/club music, but maybe the other party image is more attractive to the masses. Just some of my ponderings and not a personal attack.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

As I said in my email to you I surely accept the apology and anyone who knows me knows that I am very easy to get alone with and I guess I take these songs with a grain of salt and myself and my friends and band included are always joking and cutting up and not everyone's sense of humor is equal and most of our songs are done as either what we consider comical and some songs are serious songs that our audience relates to.
If you play Folk festivals then you need to play Folk Music but if you play Night Clubs in Lafayette, La. then you need to play music that your audience relates to and will like and enjoy? So, with this band and the direction it is heading isn't taking the Folk or Roots direction then we realize it upsets the people who once enjoyed hearing Folk recordings and I still write Cajun songs at home but it is hard to invest a lot of money into these recording when there is not a lot of support for it and I think it loses it's support from people re-recording the same songs over and over again and burning out the local audience that wants to see and hear something NEW that still has the flavor they know and recognize?
You can't do a record and wonder what people 50 years ago would think about it....you have to record what the people are wanting in 2007 and the only way to determine what the audience wants is to see what they buy and who they come out and see and I've played traditional music for years and never saw any kind of impact as I do now!?
I get emails daily from people in Iraq and soldiers saying daily how they listen to our music every day because it s what THEY consider THEIR music and reminds them of home....THAT means something to me and that means a lot to the interest in our ocal music whether or not people like or dislike what we do as a group.
No matter what we sing about or how we play I think ALL music disserves respect and even hip-hop singing about touchy subjects with guns etc. - they are writing about what they see in the streets and their audience likes it just as people loved there old John Wayne movies with guns? Another subject but music and movies are all entertainment but you can't get upset with Stephen King for doing a movie that isn't family oriented as Lassie? Every type of music and movies etc. have different audiences and all bring something different to the table and all disserve respect just as an artist that paints pictures?
I understand the passion behind the traditional music and as I've said I love it myself and enjoy playing it but also enjoy doing what I am doing now.
I'll just end with apology accepted and thanks for emailing me about it as well!

Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Oh and by the way I never apologized to Chris since he was man enough to do so with me - so, as I accept your apology I offer mine as well.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Thank you, Travis, "it's all cool" Apology accepted...you are a true gentleman...sorry, didn't mean to start a firestorm.

Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Wow... I love this forum! Nice to see ya here Travis! You know I'm one of your most fervent supporters.

As I've told you many times, I'll tell the rest of the Braves here; had you not asked me to come up to the stage to pull a tune with you, I'd still be complacent with the few simple riffs I knew. That was over 2 years ago in Rayne.

Because I met you and felt the warmth of your generosity as well as the talent of your band behind me, I delved deeply into rediscovering myself with accordion in hand. You inspired me to take time out to break down the essentials that I needed to know to become a better accordionist and songwriter. YOU inspired me to purchase dozens of CDs by both classic and contemporary Cajun artists such as Iry, Aldus, Ray & Nathan Abshire, and Wilson Savoy. It was my desire to acquire a fraction of what you know and HERE IT IS folks, case in point, because of you and your "non-traditional" music, I dug deep into traditional Cajun music.

What I can tell you is, since that night in Rayne, I've become the accordion player I've always hoped to be and the good news is, I'm not finished yet! There's much, much more to learn but because of your friendship, the friendhip of your bandmates and family, you've inspired me to start a new band -- now over a year old and doing well -- and have provided me a template of how a band sounds, operates and interacts with its public.

I couldn't have accomplished this with any other highly visible Louisiana band leader. I've tried. I've extended my hand to several over the years -- you're the only one who has truly shook it and has welcomed me into recognizing me as human and as a legitimate artist in the scope of C&Z music. Honors however to Toups and Ray Abshire for giving me the time of day and I do appreciate their sincerity as well. Oh, and more recently to Sarah! I do admire her talents, her family and her time to interface with me in this forum. I'd love to have a beer with her -- and will one of these days. ;)

But what I'm saying is this; Travis and those immediately associated with him have done the most for me in giving me hope for my musical future.

I'm not sure what else I can elaborate on that I've not already said about the Zydeco Kingpins. So here's my complete and final review:

Travis Matte is a bona fide revolutionary. The time is right for he and his band, The Zydeco Kingpins to pioneer the distinctive mixture of zydeco, Cajun, swamp pop, modern rock and hip-hop deep into new territory. Few Louisiana artists are visualizing the shortage of such an existing blend and the growing appetite this fresh market is propagating -- equipped with a sound that is uniquely Louisiana, yet sophisticated enough to be adopted beyond the Gulf Coast.

Travis and his band have positioned themselves in the upper echelon of hip-ness; while attempting to label their brand of music is about as easy as shooting flies with a nail gun. Travis expresses this innovative trademark by weaving through references of Cajun and zydeco grooves under the delightful influence of pop and funk -- then elevating them through a vogue, street-smart distiller. The result makes him one of the most best-selling acts to hit the local Louisiana scene in years, breaking attendance records at local venues and festivals, while garnering a huge, new fan-base.

It's comforting to note that the elements that market Travis' contemporary stylings, also allow ample room for one of Louisiana's greatests gifts to the world -- good humor and joie de vie. Without this charitable blend, Travis' music might prove too prudent for today's society. But Travis and his Zydeco Kingpins get it right while pairing infectious accordion hooks and lilting melodies spiced with hip-hop and humor with just the perfect amount salt and sweet to make his audience keep coming back for more.

R!CK aka

KNON 89.3 FM, Dallas TX

Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

Well, Rick, thanks for calling it "non-traditional" (you KNOW my ears ******* up at that one! ), and I'm glad to hear that Travis' awful (Travis-- ) music got you interested in the good stuff.

We'll all go out and have a beer (or twelve) one day and fight it out.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

You see Sarah I am the Horse leading them to your water!ha
Sarah once you drink enough Russian Vodka's you will dig the Kigpins baby!lol

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

You got it Sarah! I'm just thrilled we are all passionate to care about music. In that sense we are united under one common bond... and a dozen other bubbly, ice-cold reasons! 'Preciate'cha!


Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

All I can say is Rick you duh man!ha
Rick has been over to my home and he and his wife to be are super awesome people and I have never seen anyone in my life so appreciative!
I must admit all of your words makes everything we do and all of the hard work and late night weekends and time in studio away from family feel like it is all worth something! Actually, I will be in the studio all of this week and playing all weekend and work during the week makes being a musician a tough life when it comes to TIME but I love doing it so I am not complaining!ha
Again brother, Thx and you are welcomed anytime you need from me my friend!

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

haha, another tracas resolved!

Excellent Discussion

This is fascinating, thanks, everyone.

I'm involved in a music cooperative here in Michigan that's dedicated to the preservation and presentation of "traditional" music. The organization started 33 years ago focused on bluegrass, but now covers many more genres, including Cajun and Zydeco. We have many discussions and debates over what is "traditional" (and "according to whom"). Perhaps more importantly, if the organization is going to be around another 50 years (which we all hope it will) how do we inspire and involve younger people to take up our mission of preserving and presenting traditional arts?

Seems to me all music is ultimately a branch of the same tree, if one looks to the roots. Some styles I enjoy much more than others, and to each their own in that regard. I have visited SW Louisiana many times, and I've found most Cajun musicians to be very generous and open. Some have helped me greatly in learning about the culture and playing the music. The time I've spent with friends in Lafayette and therabouts shows me you folks have a special cultural treasure that should be preserved.

For the roots to survive, though, the branches must continue to grow.

All the best.

Re: Excellent Discussion

Wait a second:

"...try to get past the thonged women". I've been goin' to the wrong shows, man.

Travis, now I gotta see y'all play live! Seriously, though. I understand that juggling a day job and music is a real headache. If you don't have the day job, though, it's tough to make the record you want.

Wouldn't you go crazy if you didn't play live on the weekends?


Nick B.

Re: Re: Excellent Discussion

Ha, yeah do that - come see us when you can brother!
I am usually lost when I don't play music!ha
take care

Re: Excellent Discussion

Thx Tee! I will use your quote "For the roots to survive the branches have to grow"! Well worded and I can see the other side as well since I also love and enjoy the roots music, but it seems as though music evolves like everything else in life whether people want it to or not?
Even though our style is not that of Traditional Cajun or Creole/Zydeco we still do some traditional tunes of both styles at our shows to show the audiences that would have never heard the music how it sounds and give them a taste of the older styles that they see incorporated in our style of music.
Basically tradition is a activity or belief that existed for an extended period of time....so, with so many different styles of music coming from our area with so many unique bands that were all great and didn't sound alike...WHO, is the traditional police force in deciding what makes the grade and is considered traditional? It is all in the ear of the beholder and no two people agree the same way and similar to religion and with many religious discussions you have to agree to disagree.
Good points!

Re: Re: Excellent Discussion

I can't believe I read all of the emails regarding Travis Matte and the Kingpins.Whew!!! It made me realize just how well people can express their thoughts through what they type (I wish I could say the same for me). I am so happy that all parties responding seem to have agreed that all music has merit to somebody. Great, that has been settled. I loved hearing from Sarah. David Bertrand, I agree totally with. Travis, you present yourself so well. How can people not see how sincere you are? We'll they can't not see it, because you are sincere and thanks for being that way.
Music for me is second to only my wife and kids. It's the only work (and most of the fun)I've done all my life. Although I often feel inadequate due to the fact that I do not play an instrument. Anytime I am around people who play so well (and enjoy playing it), I am totally amazed.
I listen mostly to Cajun and Zydeco music. That doesn't mean I like it all. In fact most I don't care for (and most of the writers on this forum probably feel the same).
I can just tell you from my end, what the Kingpins are doing is terrific. They are getting young people involved in some type of South Louisiana music. Beats all the other stuff in the young people clubs (in my opinion of course). They are sleeing out shows and selling cds (which is almost impossible to do these days). Somebody must be likin' it.
I am very anxious to hear what the new cd will sound like. I might hate it. It might flop out or break the Kingpins out nationally. No one knows. But you gotta give it a shot if you are in a postion to do so.
We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to hear and see Travis Matte & the Pins, Pine Leaf Boys, Red Sticks, Mamou Playboys, Geno and to witness and be a part of the enthusiasm that the fans of these bands
have...Count me in that group.
Keep showing your support for the music you love.
...Todd Ortego

Re: Travis Matte & Robert Plant

You folks haven't got anything special, we are having the same discussions in the bluegrass world. Its amazing to me that what folks consider traditional was comtemporary in the past. Music is ever evolving in all genres and its hard to stay focused on what is the parameters of a certain type. I've mixed BeeBop and Ragtime into my bluegrass runs on the banjo and the (so called Traditionalist) give me dirty looks (mostly other banjo players)because that ain't the way Earl Scruggs did it. But hey as someone said everyone brings something to the table and fits it in somehow. Even though I wouldn't go out and buy a hip hop cut, or a Cajun/Creole/Zydeco version of hip hop or R&B I do have the choice of what I want to listen to. I wouldn't want my kids listening to such lyrics, but then again I think everyone is a product of their raising. I play alot of not traditional bluegrass type music and I understand that every musician is an artist and will bring their own special touch to a music genre. Bruce

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