Wearing the festival t-shirt imprinted with his
image, Adam Hebert is shown in the top photo on Sept. 21, 2003, at
Festival de Musique Acadienne in Lafayette while he was performing with
Balfa Toujours. In the other photos, he was on stage Sept. 20 with The
Jambalaya Cajun Band. A giant painting of him was displayed on one side
of the stage. He seated himself underneath it while he was warming up
his fiddle. He is also shown there talking to Barry Ancelet
In the bottom photo, Adam Hebert is shown
performing Sept. 20 with La Bande Feufollet with Chris Stafford on
guitar and Chris Segura on fiddle.
|The 2003 Festival de Musique
Acadienne at Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette was dedicated to Adam
Hebert, a tribute that recognized a truly gifted song writer whose music
is at the center of the traditional Cajun repertoire. "Pour la dernière
fois," "J'aimerais connnaître," "La valse de ma chérie" (included in
Charles Bronson's 1975 movie Hard Times), "Ouvre la porte," and
"Cette-là moi j'aime est comme un 'tit oiseau" are among the 58 songs
composed by Adam Hebert.
Born in 1923 near Church Point, he constructed his
first fiddle when he was a child out of a chocolate box and screen wire.
According to Ann Savoy in her liner notes to
Swallow Records' CD The
Essential Adam Hebert Music Collection, Hebert progressed to a cigar
box fiddle and eventually to a fiddle ordered by his father from a
Montgomery Wards catalog. At age 13, he and a friend began playing house
dances, charging 10 cents per male, women admitted free. As a young man,
he joined with Alphee Bergeron on accordion and others to form The
Veteran Playboys (Alphee's son, Shirley, also became a member), a
popular group after World War II. In the mid-1950s, Hebert formed a
group known as The Country Playboys, which recorded 12 singles for
Swallow Records during the 1960s. Among the members were Claby Richard
(Belton's father) on accordion and Dick Richard on steel guitar.
The CD, which includes three songs that were never
before released, draws from an album, The Best of Adam Hebert: Cajun
Music of the '60s, released by Swallow in 1987.
In recent years, back problems have made it
difficult for Hebert to perform, but during the 2003 festival he was in
great form, both on fiddle and with his old-style vocals. As he
told Ann Savoy, "Some musicians just count from their mouth when they
sing, they just speak. I approach my music not from my mouth. It comes
straight from my heart."