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

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  Briggs Brown and
   the Bayou Cajuns

High resolution pictures of Briggs Brown & the Bayou Cajuns now on Flickr.

For schedules, music clips, and current information, be sure to check out the MySpace page for Briggs Brown and the Bayou Cajuns.

On Mardi Gras Day in 2008, I was a couple of blocks away from the main stage in downtown Eunice during the late afternoon listening to what I assumed was Steve Riley’s fiery, fast-fingered accordion improvisations playing “La porte d’arriere.” As I got nearer, I realized with some amazement that the accordionist was actually15-year-old Briggs Brown sitting in with the Mamou Playboys.

Already a veteran musician who has been playing for seven years, Briggs has released two CDs, Tee Cajun in 2005 and in 2008 Vieille memories – Bons temps, featuring his band Briggs Brown and the Bayou Cajuns.

Briggs is the great great nephew of the late Sidney Brown, a widely admired Cajun accordionist who is equally well known as one of the first Cajuns to build accordions. Brigg’s father, Greg, who plays bass in the band, has also recently become an accordion builder (one of the accordions Briggs plays was made by his father).

Briggs’ sister, Megan, a 19-year-old student at LSUE, is the band’s female vocalist. The band also features two of the top male vocalists in Cajun music, drummer Ray Thibodeaux and guitarist Homer LeJeune. Ray’s son, 18-year-old Travis Benoit, plays fiddle. Travis is a 2003 recipient of the Cajun French Music Association’s New Dawn Award. Briggs received the same award in 2006.

Guest musicians on the 2008 CD are the Magnolia Sisters’ Jane Vidrine on guitar and Steve Riley on fiddle.

Megan’s beautiful, delicate soprano makes “Marie mouri,” David Greely’s musical version of a slave’s poem, hauntingly sad. Her vocals are nicely complemented by Travis Benoit on fiddle, who is seconded by Steve Riley. She also sings “Chers amis” and Zachary Richard’s “Belle Louisiane,” recorded with her own harmony vocals. In addition, she sings the English lyrics to Fred Charlie’s lovely waltz “I Had a Dream Last Night.” (Megan is also a folk singer who composes her own songs in English: during the past year we enjoyed her performances at LSUE poetry evenings held at Café Mosaic, a coffee house in downtown Eunice.)

Ray Thibodeaux handles the vocals on “Marksville Two-Step,” “World in a Jug (Bosco Blues),” “Belizaire Waltz,” “Allons à Lafayette,” and “Teche Special.” Homer LeJeune sings “Calcasieu Waltz,” “Les flammes d’enfer,” and “Lake Charles Playboy Waltz.”  On “Pine Grove Blues,” Thibodeaux is the lead vocalist with LeJeune handling the traditional response comments. On “Zydeco sont pas salé,” LeJeune is the lead singer, seconded by Thibodeaux.

The CD opens very appropriately with the instrumental “Traveler Playboy Special,” the signature number of Sydney Brown’s band. The other instrumental on the CD is “Fond de culotte two-step.”

As part of the Mamou Playboys’ performance during the  2008 Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week, Briggs Brown was invited to join the band on stage for a couple of songs before a crowd that included a number of other young Cajun musicians. To cheers and applause from everyone there, Riley said that, while some may have wondered for a while whether the Cajun traditions would continue, the future is now in the very capable hands of a new generation.

Briggs Brown and other young members of his band, joined by older musicians who have been steadfast over the years in their commitment to their heritage, are, as the title of the CD suggests, making old memories come alive in the present, keeping the good times going for future generations to enjoy.

In addition to listening to the band’s recording, you can catch them live at D.I.’s Cajun Restaurant (located west of Eunice between Basile and Jennings in the rural community of Tee-Mamou) and at other venues listed on the band’s mySpace page.


Megan Brown is shown at the Liberty Theater.




The top two photos show Briggs Brown at the Liberty. Travis Benoit is shown in the next photo when the band played in downtown Eunice during Mardi Gras. The first thumbnail shows Briggs at the Balfa camp when he performed with the Mamou Playboys. In the next row are Homer LeJeune, left, and Ray Thibodeaux. Greg Brown is on bass in the next row, which also has a photo of Megan Brown with the Mamou Playboys at the Balfa camp.


Posted 6-8-08.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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