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

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 Bonsoir, Catin
First CD released Sept. 2006

Click here for high res photos posted on Flickr.

Click here to go to the Official Site of Bonsoir, Catin.  

Click to return to LSUE's first page on Bonsoir, Catin, which includes more information about the band members.

All photos shown above were taken at the Liberty Sept. 16, 2006.

The photo of Yvette Landry was taken at the Cajun French Music Association Festival.
Click for a page of photos of female Cajun musicians.

The cover of the nicely packaged first CD released by Bonsoir, Catin in September 2006 shows the four Catins standing in a barn while the male drummer feeds the chickens. These are definitely pretty women, but there’s nothing prettified about their music. This is down home Cajun music played and sung without holding anything back. The deep feeling and sometimes raw emotion come at you full force. The Catins are all accomplished musicians who play with passion because they enjoy what they’re doing.

They certainly are not feminizing traditional Cajun music, but many of the familiar songs acquire a new dimension in their performance, even when the lyrics assume a male perspective.

When at the end of “Les pinières” Kristi Guillory’s voice aches with pain and sorrow describing being alone and abandoned in the smoke of the burning pine woods, other references in Adam and Cyprien Landreneau’s lyrics don’t matter any more. Telling the late Joe Warren Cormier’s lively story of an unfortunate man whose woman has left him with only “cinquante piastres, mes vieux culottes et mon pickup truck,” Kristi sounds appropriately both exasperated and bemused, as if she might recognize that the man could have deserved his sad fate.

In elaborating on the effect of listening to Cajun standards sung by the Catins, Barry Jean Ancelet’s liner notes point to other songs that take on a new meaning performed by the Catins, most notably Adam Hebert’s “Ouvre donc cette porte,” which includes lyrics sung by Christine Balfa Powell about murdering an unfaithful lover, an image in myth, Ancelet comments, that goes as far back as Clytemnestra. In “Mémoires dans mon coeur,” Christine’s powerful vocals really do come straight from the heart, and she brings the same depth of feeling to three classic songs about drinking: “Rêve du saoulard,” Nathan Abshire’s “Je suis saoul encore,” and “La Bouteille,” Sheryl Cormier’s signature song usually sung by her husband, Russell.

Kristi’s other songs on the CD include Johnny Sonnier’s “Paul Daigle sur le jukebox,” “Longue Pointe Two-Step” (by Ambrose Thibodeaux and Gervais Quibodeaux), Lawrence Walker’s popular “Alberta” (in English), and another drinking song, Belton Richard’s “A Baby Again,” giving us the first female rendition of lyrics that begin “mets un biberon sur ma bouteille.” She also sings the traditional ballad “La Sainte Catherine,” in which a young woman is killed by her pagan father because she will not abandon her Christian faith. The sole instrumental on the CD is “Tiger Rag Blues.”

The band’s three other members play with equal passion. Anya Burgess, who is also a member of the other Cajun female group The Magnolia Sisters, plays the fiddle with both grace and verve, doing an especially fine job blending with the accordion carrying the melody on songs like “La Sainte Catherine.”  Yvette Landry’s bass anchors the band’s sound, and she also sings beautiful harmony vocals. Though he is the lone male in a band of Catins, drummer Jude Veillon, who played with Kristi in her band Réveille more than a decade ago, is musically at one with the band’s down-home sound.

Kristi Guillory wrote two original songs for the CD. The title cut, “Blues à Catin,” is a rollicking two-step about a man who has left home and now sleeps in a chicken coop because he can’t get along with his woman. “Le vieux Dodge à Bill Landry” describes the rambling itinerary of a Cajun musician who was Yvette Landry's great uncle and the leader of the Bill Landry Orchestra (her grandfather, Lucien Landry, was a member).

Don’t shut off the CD player when you hear the last notes of “Alberta.”  Wait a few seconds for the hidden track, “Dans mon chemin,” a traditional song featuring Krisit on vocals and accordion with Dirk Powell on piano.

Translations and transcriptions for all songs are provided by Barry Ancelet. The English translations stay very close to the original French, so it should be easy for listeners who know a little French to follow along.

 The CD was recorded at Dirk Powell’s Cypress House Studio and released on the Bridgetown Records independent label. In addition to Powell, other musicians performing on a couple of cuts are Terry Huval on dobro and lap steel and Richard Comeaux on steel guitar.

                        –David Simpson


A hot band on a hot night at the Liberty–the air conditioning was out Sept. 16, 2006, at the Liberty Theater in Eunice when Bonsoir, Catin gave their first performance after the release of their CD. Shown from left are Anya Burgess, Kristi Guillory, Jude Veillon, Christine Balfa Powell, and Yvette Landry.

Posted 9-30-06

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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