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

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 John Leger

  and Débris Cajun Band


Go to the web site of John Leger and the Debris Cajun Band.

Frank Pickett, triangle player and a vocalist with the Débris Cajun Band, died Feb. 7, 2005.

As of fall 2008, John Leger has returned to Louisiana and is living in Sulphur. He can be contacted at 1-337-563-1161. He is in a band named Louisiana Country that will begin public performances soon.

John Leger was born in Biloxi, Miss., but, at a very young age, he discovered his true identity as a Cajun musician during a visit to Welsh, where he was so fascinated by his grandfather's accordion that he tore it apart. After it was refurbished by Ervin LeJeune (son of Iry LeJeune), it was shipped to Biloxi, and at age 5 John Leger learned to play Iry LeJeune's "J'ai fait une grosse erreur."  When the family moved back to Lacassine, John gave his first public performance in the grocery store of Ellis Vanicor, who had once played with Iry LeJeune in the Lacassine Playboys. Appropriately enough, John performed "Bayou Pon Pon," one of Iry's many popular songs (and a song included on the CD). The liner notes to John Leger's first CD, Do You Know How It Feels?, give additional details about his background and also describe the formation of the Débris Cajun Band. The name refers to a dish that combines various leftover animal parts (like organs) with onions, rice, and anything else to make good use of what God has provided.  The musical analogy may not be precise, but the Débris Cajun Band is certainly putting their God-given talents to good use on their CD.

The CD offers 12 cuts, including the title cut, which features a musical arrangement by Amos Leger Sr., John's late father (with further arranging by his two sons), and lyrics translated into French by Frank Pickett. Pickett also wrote and performs "J'ai perdu mon idée."

Other songs include standards like "Madame Etienne," "Perrodin Special," "Abe's Waltz," Iry LeJeune songs like ""Lacassine Special," "Grand NIght Special," and "Big Highway Waltz," Dewey Balfa's "T'es petite et t'es mignonne," Jo-El Sonnier's "Tes yeux bleus," and the instrumental "Debris Two-Step."

Other members of the band in addition to Leger and Pickett are Abe Manuel Jr. on fiddle, Dottie Manuel (his mother) on dominant rhythm guitar, Linda (Pischue) Dalen on rhythm guitar, and Cedric Hebert (not pictured and no longer performing with the group), rhythm guitar.

The CD was released in 2004 by Swallow Records.


Posted 8-6-04

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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