On Sunday, I had an opportunity to participate in a jamming session with some of the Cajun musicians who were at the Grou Tyme festival. I was told that I play the "old style", and that I would enjoy Iry Lejeune's music.
Can anyone suggest any particular CD to get? and how to get them? I know he died very young and there might not be a lot of material available. Any thoughts/info?
I don't know if it is the best, but "Legendary Iry LeJeune" pops up frequently on a Google search.
www.artistdirect.com has sound clips.
I have a cd entitled Iry LeJeune, Cajuns Greatest, The Definative Collection.CDCHD428 (ACE> Goldband Records)
and I thoroughly recommend it.
25 recordings from 1948 onwards. Really good stuff.
I recently bought an Iry LeJeune CD, too, after being made aware that there are two different releases. In addition to the "Legendary Iry LeJeune" released on CD by the Goldband label in 1991 that Craig mentioned; there is also "Iry LeJeune, Cajun's Greatest, The Definitive Collection" released on CD by ACE in 1994.
Both CDs contain many of the same titles, although the "Legendary..." on Goldband has the overdubbed bass line that many find objectionable. The "Definitive Collection" CD on ACE does not have the overdubbed bass. You can hear clips of all 24/25 tracks from both CDs on Barnes & Noble web site www.bn.com (see link above).
Both are also available from Down Home Music in El Cerrito, CA (see link above) for a dollar or two less than BN, plus you'd get the satisfaction of supporting a local music store specializing in folk music from around the world. My copy of the "Definitive Collection" arrived within a week, and it has become an important part of my listening/learning.
I'll follow this thread to see what else of Iry LeJeune's music others recommend.
I have both the old LP with the dubbed bass, and the CD without it. I am pretty sure that there are no additional recordings of any kind - that's it! It's too bad really, but it is a darn sight better than not having any!
I bought Iry Lejeune's "Cajun Greatest" at Savoy Music Center.
I really love it. Especially "la valse de Duralde".
There are no clear recordings of Iry that I've ever heard, none that were recorded very well and I think some of them were even recorded at his house or someone else's house in Opelousas.
You still want to hear them. You still have to hear anything you can find of Iry's. If you want to know anything about Cajun music you have to start with Iry.
But after that, listen to Jo-el Sonnier doing the best imatition of Iry's style that anyone ever could do and that's on Jo-el's Cajun Roots album. He does mostly Iry's songs and it's the best Cajun Waltz album you're ever going to hear.
The other reason is that after you listen to that album you won't need to have anyone explain to you why Zydeco doesn't have anything to do with real Cajun music because it seems like a lot of people who aren't from Louisiana don't understand that at all.