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Rosie Ledet Interview

Hey y'all, Rosie Ledet will be phoning in on my radio show on KNON 89.3 FM Dallas at 9:25 PM on this coming Monday night 4/10. Any questions y'all would like answers to from the zydeco sweetheart?



Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Hello Rick,

Yes,I have a question or two for the lovely Ms Ledet:
What make of 3 rows accordion does she plays, the key, how many switches if any, hand made or "regular" reeds,and lastly is the box factory tuned,or did she had it retuned to her own liking?.
The reason I'm asking is that I think she switched from playing a 2 rows Bafetti for a 3 rows.
She had her Baffetti listed briefly, by a friend on this board.

Thanks a bunch, Rick.


Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Hi Claude,

Of course I don't know, but I can make a guess that I strongly suspect will be correct:

Her 3 row accordion will not have handmade reeds, and it will be standard factory tuning.

Let's face reality. The only accordions that are likely to have handmade reeds are Louisiana Cajun accordions. Same for any tuning other than "standard".

There just is not the same opportunity to customize imported accordions. They come the way they come and that's that - for the most part anyway. Yes, you can try to make a custom order to Italy, and I know that people have done that. But I suspect that the vast majority of imported accordions are not customized at all.

For the reeds, cost is the limiting factor. With a 10 button Cajun accordion, there are only 40 reeds on the treble side. For a triple row, you're looking at well over 3 times that number. For a piano accordion...forget it! (Several years ago, before prices went up, I estimated that a full size piano accordion with handmade reeds would have to cost $10,000 or more!!! It would probably be more like $15,000 nowadays.)


Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Thanks for the info, your'e more then likely wright as always.
I have another question for you, regarding the 3 rows, 9 switchers, 4 reeds, I think heavy on the Musette sound,(witch I know you dislike) but how come, if these are factory tuned, with standard reeds, are used by Zydeco guys like Cory Ledet or Sean Ardoin?.
the other day,I was lessening to these two players and didn't seem to notice that much tremolo in their playing, or can they with the Master switch eliminate the Musette tremolo?, or is there some tremolo "evident" in Zydeco accordion playing?, sometimes I think there is, other times not.
I don't think you use a 9 switchers 4 reeds for performances in your collection of 3 rows accordions,do you?.
Don't forget, David that I have an old and inexperienced ear, prone to not too be terribly discerning anyway .

I have always thought, that a 4 reeds, 3 rows diatonic accordion , because of the reeds configurations "always" produces a tremolo sound, is my assumption correct?, and that you couldn't rectify this , even by retuning the reeds " dry".
But, if this is possible, is it commonly done?
I'm perfectly ignorant, amongst other "things" on these matters.

I hope that I make sense?

Thanks, David.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview


I researched triple row zydeco boxes recently and learned that one of the highly regarded makes (Dino Baffetti) comes with 4 reeds tuned LMMM (compare 1-row tuning of LMMH). Having 3 reed banks tuned to the same octave, with different degrees of wetness creates the variety of musette sounds you may hear on a single zydeco recording. Although there are 9 switches, it's really master switch (all reeds on) plus 4 other settings; the 8 non-master switches are duplicated going in either direction from the master switch, I guess to allow a quick voicing switch regardless of where your hand is on the keyboard.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Hey y'all Braves --

The interview with Rosie was brief, unfortunately shortened by phone issues in the radio studio. It aired about 20 minutes later than expected as Rosie attempted to be connected on-air. I finally had to call her back to connect. Ah, the wonders of a community radio station and the gum and duct tape that makes it operate. [grrr...]

Nevertheless, I did ask Rosie about her Bafetti -- not in great detail as I'd have like to; but she still only plays the 2-row. She says she's at a point where she'd like to learn the 3-row so she wouldn't have to stretch as much. She hears the 3-row is easier to play than the double...

I also asked her DP's question, which was probably the best question of the interview -- with such a great voice, what's keeping her in zydeco rather than mainstream... her reply was -- she is Creole to the bone, that's her roots and she has no plans to deviate from the path of promoting zydeco music and her culture as well as her beloved State of Louisiana. She loved that question!

I asked her about touring Europe -- she has no immediate plans to do so, but would consider (again) as she's toured there twice in the past.

She will be at this year's Jazz Fest, sitting in with The Subdudes. She seemed really excited about that.

Thanks Braves for your interview input. I really dig this forum and the likeminds we share! Rosie is playing this weekend in Dallas at a benefit for the community radio station I DJ on -- KNON 89.3 FM. One of my band configurations, Hippie Gumbo gets to open for her. It should be a blast!

Cheers y'all,

Rick (T-Richard)

Re: Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Most all of the Baffetti's that are special ordered through Larry Miller for the Zydeco crowd .. as well as the Baffetti's through Karlos Landin ( of Karlitosway accordions in Dallas ).. are made with Handmade reeds.. Zydeco Pro's want Bincis.. the Tex Mex crowd goes with Antonelli or Artigiana handmades..

Handmades make the difference.. try them and you will never settle for factory reeds again!..


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Hi Glenn,

What does it add to the cost to go with handmade reeds on a triple row, 3 reed or 4 reed? If the cost isn't that much, it is surely worth it.

I know that on a piano accordion, the cost becomes prohibitive. I don't beleive there are many people ready to shell out $10,000 or more for an accordion!


Re: Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Hi Claude,

I have a 3 row, 4 reed (LMMM), 9 switch, which is factory tuned. It very definitely has a heavy Musette sound if you use the Master (LMMM) or Musette (MMM) switches. However, I tend to avoid using those settings, in which case the sound is not musette. It also means that I am carrying around an extra set of reeds which I rarely use. That is why, if I ever get around to getting another triple row, it will be three reed (LMM). It may be that Sean, Corey, et al, are doing the same thing that I do, and just don't use the Musette settings.

But even if I am not using the Musette settings, there is still some tremolo between the two middle reeds that are on. It is just much less than is the case with Musette. The amount of tremolo I get with 2 middle reeds on is fairly high - that is, it is a wet sound. But it is OK. I have heard of people retuning the middle reeds to make for a drier sound. In fact, I bought such a triple row from Glenn, and I really like the sound a great deal. It is not totally dry - there is just enough "wet" to give it an edge. It is much drier than is the case with any factory tuned accordions I have played. But maybe the trend lately might be going more toward the dry side? I don't know.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Hi Dave..

the tipo a mano reeds should not add more than roughly a couple hundred bucks to the cost of a new box.. for Handmades.. add on a hundred or more on top of that.. we're looking for handmades at a range of $250 to $450 addtional cost to a new accordion.. which in the long run is well worth it:

1. Fewer read breakages ( if not abused )
2. Stays in tune longer ( the whole range high, middle and low notes )
3. sounds better with playing.. especially after 6 months to a year of regular playing.
4. Increased volume and response ( noticeable the first time you pick one up )..

If going for a "lifer" box... insist on handmades or at least tipo a mano ( like hand mades )..which are nearly as good and more affordable.

The brand you choose will effect the sound quality ...but that is a matter of taste..

Go for the handmades ( number ones).. or tipo a manos ( number twos )...

Oh.. I think "dry " is " In " myself !


Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Sure, I got one.
With the blessing of a voice that rivals those currently popular in R&B, what is keeping her in the genre of Zydeco rather than taking the jump into the fray of nationally popular American music?

(Not that anybody minds her keeping it close to home :)

Please do not consider this a criticism, not everyone is interested in mainstream national stardom. I was just curious to hear where her interests were and why.

Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Please ask her when she plans to tour Europe and Italy in particular.. Zydeco is NON existant here whereas in Holland, England, France they have a long tradition of bands, venues, and festivals.. Italy : zilch ( we had Lil'Brian here last year to play in front of a crowd of clueless people in lawn chairs.. that's it )

Thanks.. Glenn

Re: Re: Rosie Ledet Interview

Thanks Braves! I will compile these questions in my interview (these are great so far!) Feel free add more -- and to listen live -- online during that time 4/10/06 @ 9:25PM at knon.org. Thanks again!



Thank you all, very informative thread on reed cost,( hand made versus tipo a mano)and musette sound with 4 reeds box, new trend( drier sound perhaps)etc!.

Thank you all.


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