Hey Grease, I got this idea to put a spin on your stuff and make more of a defined point to accordion discussion. Read closely now.
"There is a problem with trying to teach Cajun accordion as it was played in the past and still in the present amongst the small communities of Louisiana. Cajun accordion was not written down on sheet music so it could not be read. For that matter, it was not taught note for note from one accordion player to another. The accordion was played in a manner that linked it deeply to the Cajun life. It was played with a certain flow and manner that was not necessarily correct to the people from France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, or even music experts world round. That's because Cajun accordion playing is from South Louisiana, a small pocket of the United States that has it's own flora and fauna, way of life, and unique interpretation of the older Cajun folk music. A good Cajun accordion player can present almost any Cajun song. He can play it in an old style, a modern style, or he can even play it in a brand new way that no one ever heard done before. He'll let you know what time frame and feeling he's playing or trying for by the choice of song, the tempo he chooses to play in, the key and position he chooses to play in, the thrills and slurs combinations, added whoops and yells, the way he moves his body and taps his feet, the tone and depth in which he sings the song, all of which are thrown at you in a manner that is so subtle that you hardly notice what was just done if you're not a Cajun accordion player whose played or heard the music all his or her life. It's sort of like the Cajun French language that "WE" hear all of our lives. We just pick up the language and speak it the way Cajuns from the past spoke it and every so often we add a new word, or forget one or two. We don't learn the Cajun French from books or at school, nor use it in a formal manner, etc......we use it in a friendly manner and we learn to speak it by having heard it so got dam much when we was growing up. Now figure out how to put that in a song book and teach it for an accordion lesson or on a Cajun Accordion DVD that you charge way too much money for. Good luck with that! Ain't gonna happen. You learn Cajun accordion by spending lots of time listening to family and friends playing it. You listen to those recordings and Cajun radio stations day in and day out until the music becomes part of your life and you can take it and interpret it in your own way or apply it on the accordion.
Unfortunately, we stopped listening to and playing to old Cajun accordion styles and music out of shame, preoccupation with modern life, the breakdown and slow death of the Cajun culture, and because of the invasion of country and rock-n-roll that was forced on the Cajuns by the got dam outsider Anglo Saxon Americanz and those got dam Beatles from England. We adopted the American music and show style too much and consequently, just about lost our own unique old styles of playing accordion because of it. We've got young Cajun accordion players and non Cajun players that haven't a clue as to what they're doing and they're presenting it to the world to make a buck or two, or show that they can do it better than anybody else, and misleading the people away from what really counts when it come to playing Cajun accordion. What we have now is plenty of youtube accordion heros, parents pushing their little Cajun accordion players who do nothing more than parakeet Marc Savoy or Steve Riley to the point of being sick with it. They play too fast, or try to sing like they're an old Cajun man when they don't even know how to speak Cajun French. They have no morals or sense of humbleness because they'll make a CD filled with a bunch of fake or directly copied songs from other Cajun musicians both of the past and present, which causes dissatisfaction and separation amongst Cajun accordion players both of south Louisiana and abroad to the point where some accordion players just fade back and go at it on their own trying to perfect a true and heartfelt "real" Cajun accordion style that no parakeet accordion player can copy. And now you know the rest of the story. And to think, I too never went to college, nor have I paid Steve Riley, Marc or Wilson Savoy, or anybody else to teach me Cajun accordion lessons, yet I know this stuff and can put it to you in words that no one else seems to be able to. You're welcome!"
Whew! LOL. That was both mind boggling and fun at the same time. "Twisty"...as Greezy might say it.
Excellent post !
My taste in Cajun music is ... the older, the better.
I have limited exposure to current players who emulate the older, or their own, style.
I completely agree with playing too fast. That is also a problem with Irish music and becoming so with many Quebec players.
It's all about NPM, notes per minute, aka BPM, beats per minute.
How about just one soulful note, that would make me happy.
Hey Mr Jeff....there are a couple of young up and coming players that are getting air time on the local Louisiana stations. I'm not going to name any names, but they play with a twittley finger style that's so fancy and fast that it's starting to nauseate me when I hear them play a two step. They even do it when they play some waltzes. They're trying to show their skills so much that it's getting out of hand. Well maybe I'll just go ahead and give an initial or two.....K.H. and the other is C.D. But if this happens to get back to them, maybe it will make them aware and sort of give them a reason to PUT A CORK IN IT!
33rd, you definitely crack me up.
However, if the young hot players like "KH" or "CD" (LOL) wanna play like they're the Jimi Hendrix of the cajun accordion, more power to them. Personally, I like the old style but must concede everyone can not play like Joe Falcon. We need a little variety dam it!
Welp, here it is...the revealing.
What happens when you take the most avoided Cajun two step of the Hee Haw Breakdown played in 3Rd position key of "F" on a "C" accordion?
And switch to playing it in the 2nd Position or in the "5th" key of "G" on that same "C" accordion?
You get........"The Shamrock!"
And yes, "The Mardi Gras Jig" is the same song as "Hee Haw Breakdown" without the Woe Rock!
And You're Welcome once again!
And once you learn the "Shamrock", go ahead and play it straight, just like Nathan Abshire on your "C" accordion in the easy 5th or 2nd position on the pull "key of G". While you're doing that, go ahead and sing the Hee Haw Breakdown. Do it on a C or even a D accordion if you want to. Also, you can take your "D" accordion and play along with Nathan's "Shamrock" in the above video. But to do this, you will have to play the 3rd position key of "G" on that "D" accordion. And that will teach you all these Hee Haw versions mentioned in every position, backwards, forwards, upside down and sideways, so that you can never be baffled by this tricky bull sh** ever again when you watch another accordion player wowing the crowd. From now on, that accomplished accordion player will be YOU! No More of this so called Accordion Penis Envy! Your dissatisfaction, anger, feeling of being left behind or left out will decrease and your confidence and standing amongst accordion players will begin to climb for the stars. The 2nd Gifts of Gifts.