CAJUN ACCORDION DISCUSSION GROUP
Hi..I am a fiddler trying to learn box playing on an old German single row...OK for Morris dancing/etc but....I am looking for a good Cajun box (I am also not that rich !! soooo...the old question !!
Seen a box called a Baton Rouge Cajun. Made in Italy currently retailing at about £500.
Does anyone have any experience of these ??
I have only seen photos so have not had opportunity to actually play it.
Any info would be great help.
Savoy-Michot Band came to play here..Somerset, England and they must take the blame for my interest !!! I had assumed nobody played like Armede Ardoin these days.....wrong !!
Who plays like Amedee Ardoin nowadays?
Very Amedee, to my Yankee-Chank ears.
Savoy Family Band CD
Getting an economic accordion is a constant problem in the UK.
It is worth trying to afford a Louisiana built instrument if you can.
I imported an Acadian back in 1991 and then with import duties it was over £1000. The trick is to try and find one already imported. I got a Martin a couple of years ago from Glenn, who sometimes writes on this site and was based in Italy, for £600. I think he'd picked it up in the States and transported as personal property to Italy. But this saved both VAT and import duty which made it very affordable.
Alternatively there is a guy in Bradford who is building accordions. I have only seen the website so I don't know what the quality is like but I plan to take a trip over in the near future. His web address is http://www.mannings-musicals.co.uk/index.html
Eric Martin is a builder and player in France. His site is http://perso.wanadoo.fr/accordeonsericmartin/
He speaks English so you could easily check him out.
Both these builders, I understand, build to order, and there is nothing like having a hand built instrument.
When I got the Martin it was after a lot of looking so perseverance can pay off, and the real thing is worth waiting for.
Good luck with your search
Thanks for the info Phil..I will explore all those options. Must admit I am really enjoying the single row button....haven't yet got my head around the Base/Chord..but the lesson which Marc Savoy posts on his site has been a great help !!
Where did you see the Italian box? I went that way ( as well as Hohner), but I'd have been better off biting the bullet and going for the real thing straight off. You'll be lucky to sell a European box when you realize what you should have bought.
Mal Manning's 'Louis' boxes are really good, but Mal can't make them any cheaper than anyone in La or Tx. Try him anyway. Might know of something.
Glenn is always worth trying. Or Ebay.
Try differnt boxes at Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco festival in January. Or Rees Wesson on Melodeons.com.
Re playing, as, I think, everyone on the site will tell you, get the Dirk Powell videos, he is a superb teacher.
He explains where all the sounds come from and it really makes learning by ear much easier.
I used to spend hours listening, thinking Mark Savoy etc. had more buttons on their accordions than I had, especially before I had the right accordion.
With the right box and Dirk's videos you'll be surprised how fast you progress.
Many thanks for all your info..appreciate it.
There are a number of music sites selling the Baton Rouge box (£5/600 approx)and...would you believe it..I have just looked on ebay and one is due up...currently running at £130 with a day or so to go.
My feeling is that unless you have experience of particular boxes you could end up with a pig in a poke !!
The present box is just a very cheaply (£15 !!!) bought thing which has allowed me to quickly get the feel of the single row and bellow rythms. I am surprised how easily I have picked it up playing by ear (that will be the fiddle I guess) but the box is in G and although a very tight good sounding box (for Morris/English traditional/etc) it has it's limitations and as I really want to play Cajun I and am not getting any younger feel I need to decide soon and buy !!
I will contact all the sites you have all mentioned
Cajun Swede, that's an interesting builder you found in Finland. They look really sharp. I wonder how they are quality & price wise - Have you explored this?
This looks alot like the excelsior Acadia. This one on ebay UK even says Acadia on it. i don't know alot about these other than the stops are pushed down to open rather than the traditionly up to open on a LA box.
I see what you mean Sambeaux..just looked up a model...very similar !!
I suppose the problem of so many accordions being given different names when they've all been mass produced does tend to lead you to seek out the genuine hand made makers even though the waiting list can long. Been in tough with a guy in France (Martin) and he has a 15 month waiting list !!
The advice about finding a good second hand one from one of the top makers is sound...if....you can find one !!
You guys are being very helpful.
The Finnish accordion is the real thing. Look closely spacers under the keyboard means he is using return springs. The corner sets are the same as Larry Miller's, the closure straps are the same as Larry Miller's, Butt joint construction, same thumb and base straps, buttons etc. All are quality parts. The fact that some of the accordions are shown with the stops closed does not mean they are chinese. Look closely 2 are open (stops up).