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Ponderings...a Continuation

The most recent discussions/ponderings have been most interesting. Hopefully, I have something substantive to add to the discussion.

First,a little introduction. I "discovered" Cajun music in 1996. Since then, that discovery has changed my life. Soon after I heard my first performance by a Cajun band in Washibgton, D.C., I began buying Cajun recordings. Some time in 2000, I began to realize the I had gotten most Cajun recordings that had then been released on CDs.

Then, quite by accident, I discovered that various CFMA Chapters in the 1980's had released four LPs of recordings by a number of Cajun bands. After not having any luck finding them, I posted a message on the now-defunct CFMA Bulletin Board asking if anyone had any idea how I could find copies of them. I received several very helpful suggestions' and soon I had gotten all four of the LPs plus another great LP made in honor of Belizaire's Cajun Restaurant.

Soon after that, thanks to Pete Bergeron, my wife and I made a trip to SW Louisiana. One of the first places that we went to hear Cajun music was the Quarter Pole in Duson to Howard Noel's jam session and to meet Pete. Now I was a bit intimidated walking in there, but we did. We met Pete and heard some fine Cajun music. That night, we mostly just sat and listened. I was enthralled. Except for Pete, we did not meet anyone else. There were these two women sitting near us who looked at us a lot but never said anything. I wondered what they were thinking. Then, after the jam session, they introduced themselves and asked if we were coming to see the Old Timers Cajun band at the Quarter Pole the following Sunday. They said that if we were going to be there, they would be, too. We could not refuse that invitation; so we went; and I have not been the same since.

Anyway, I had discovered that many great recordings had been made on vinyl and had never been put on CDs; so I started looking for all of those. After seeing Eric and Clay Chapman play the songs of Dennis McGee and Sady Courville at Festivals Acadiens in 1998, I became obsessed with finding out as much as I could about Dennis and Sady.

In particular, I learned that they had made a recording in 1972, that no one seemed to know anything about. After spending hundreds of hours looking for it unsuccessfully, I finally found a copy in 2002. On Andrea Rubenstein's website (identified above) is an article that I wrote describing my search for that LP and what happened after I found it.

Fortunately, the story did not end there. I continued trying to find someone to release that LP on CD, along with many additional tunes that they recorded at the session for the LP. Now, another three years later, that CD will be released in August. More about that later...

But along the way, I have learned a lot. Hopefully, some of what I have learned is relevant. Somehow, I do not believe that many people who live in SW Louisiana really understand how powerful and wonderful is the music that comes from their home areas. That feeling is compounded by the fact that many of the influential people in the music industry there do not understand it either. The result is that not much of it is heard outside of Louisiana. For them, the primary motive is profit; and they do not understand that profit will come if more people know about the music. The music is what is important!

Now I also believe that if more people from outside of the area learn about the music, they will buy it. They will also pay to hear bands play the music. If the people see that there really is interest in their beautiful music, they, too, will become interested in it.

It also happens that there are literally thousands of people who play Old-Time music who play and make new recordings of very old music. Many of them know about hundreds of obscure fiddlers, and they play there songs. I believe that they will be interested in the Cajun fiddling of Dennis McGee and Sady Courville and will buy the CD.

I hope that the coming release of a new recording (of old traditional Cajun fiddle tunes)by Dennis McGee and Sady Courville will at least begin to show that there is interest in Cajun music outside of Louisiana. Maybe that will help to preserve it and to show just how good it really is!

Finally, it is easy to overlook how much people like Neal Pomea and Andrea Rubinstein and Pete Bergeron and so many others are doing to help others understand and appreciate the beauty of music from their home areas.

Jack Bond

Re: Ponderings...a Continuation

Thank you for sharing that Jack, and good luck on your endeavor.

Re: Re: Ponderings...a Continuation

Great read, Jack! Thanks! ~R!CK

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