Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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Balfa Toujours at
Festivals Acadiens 2000

Click here for high resolution photos of Balfa Toujours on Flickr.
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Balfa Toujours was everywhere during Festivals Acadiens 2000 in Lafayette September 16-17, 2000. The group was the festival's closing band on Sunday, just as the Balfa Brothers had closed the festival many years ago. But Balfa Toujours also had a role in a lot of the other music heard at the festival. The pictures on this page depict some of those activities.
The pictures at the top of the page show the band performing on the main stage just before sunset Sunday evening.

Kevin Wimmer and Dirk Powell played twin fiddles with Christine Balfa adding her spirited triangle beat to "Le Reel Frugé," one of the songs on the band's new album, Live at Whiskey River Landing.

Peter Schwarz, who produced the band's La Pointe album and also performed on it, was in town for the festival and joined the band on bass.  That let Courtney Granger move from bass to fiddle, playing beside Kevin Wimmer to add a twin fiddle sound to many of the songs. The band played other songs from the new album, including "Whiskey River Special" (or "Throwdown").

Saturday night, Balfa Toujours had returned to the club on the Atchafalaya Basin levee for a CD release party: "Le bon temps finit jamais à la Rivière de Whiskey."

During the Sunday evening performance, Courtney Granger sang several numbers, including "La valse de bamboucheur," one of the great songs from the Balfa Brothers repertoire.

Balfa Toujours has always been close to Bois Sec Ardoin and his family, going back to the close ties between Dewey Balfa and Bois Sec. Bois Sec Ardoin was scheduled to perform at the festival, but his wife, Marsceline, died the day before the event began. During Balfa Toujours' closing performance, Christine described the strength and beauty of Miss Marsceline, who with her husband raised 14 children on their farm in rural Duralde.

Christine dedicated the song "Dimanche après-midi" to her memory. As he sang the song, which Bois Sec Ardoin himself sang on the album he did with Balfa Toujours, Courtney Granger added his own words in honor of Miss Marsceline, who has left Duralde to enter heaven.


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Kevin Wimmer brought both emotional intensity and energy to his performance on fiddle.

During Kevin's rendition of "Bernadette," Zydeco Joe Mouton (1943-2007) joined the band on frottoir, offering his own French lyrics in addition to some fancy licks on the rubboard. Zydeco Joe is also a top Creole accordion player.

The band's last number was "Zydeco est pas salé," but of course the crowd would not let them go.  For an encore, Balfa Toujours sang "Les veuves de la coulée," the same song with which the Balfa Brothers closed their performance at the festival. Christine's sister, Nelda, a member of the group in its early years who often joins the band in performances near her home, stepped up to the microphone to sing the final number (she is pictured playing triangle in the photograph below).


The other photographs on this page include a picture of Keith Frank, who sat in for Bois Sec Ardoin, playing Creole music with Kevin Wimmer, Dirk Powell, and Christine Balfa Sunday afternoon in the Heritage Tent.

In the next photo down, Kevin Wimmer, Dirk Powell, and Courtney Granger (on the upright bass) are shown during one of the Louisiana Folk Roots jam sessions that went on throughout the festival Saturday and Sunday. Preston Frank is on accordion. The Louisiana Folk Roots tent also distributed information on the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week.

In the bottom photo, Kevin Wimmer is shown playing fiddle with the Frank Family Band on Saturday. The family members, from left, are Keith Frank, Brad Frank (on drums), Preston Frank, and Jennifer Frank.

Christine Balfa was also busy Saturday performing as a member of the Magnolia Sisters.

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Check out Balfa Toujours' MySpace Page.

Visit Balfa Toujour's Official Web Site.

Click here to return to the first Balfa Toujours page.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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