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

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  Don Montoucet

 Click here for high resolution photos of Don Montoucet posted on Flickr.

The photos above were taken at the 2006 Cajun French Music Association Festival at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette. Don Montoucet is shown with Kevin Naquin. They are pictured at the 2003 CFMA festival with Dwayne Lavergne on drums. Montoucet is show at the Liberty in 1999 in the photo at right.

Don Montoucet, who was born in 1925, did not perform publicly until he was in his late forties, but music had a central role in his life from the beginning. According to the liner notes to his 2007 CD, Don Montoucet est ses amis, both his father and his mother played accordion. His father, Jacques Montoucet, won an accordion contest in competition with the legendary Amédé Breaux and Joe Falcon. Barry Ancelet, in the notes that are excerpted and adapted from Cajun and Creole Music Makers, goes on to describe how Montoucet was persuaded by his friend, fiddler Lionel Leleux, to become the accordionist for the Wandering Aces after the band’s leader, Lawrence Walker, died suddenly in 1973. The original plan was for the Wandering Aces to remain together just long enough to fulfill their booking commitments, but the combination of Montoucet and Leleux worked so well that they continued to perform for another one-and-one-half years (they recorded an album released in Europe on Sonet records). Montoucet went on to play regularly at Mulate’s Restaurant with the Mulate Playboys and at festivals around the United States and in Canada and France.

The 2007 CD is the product of Montoucet’s long-time relationship with Kevin Naquin, beginning many years ago when he and his wife babysat Kevin. Montoucet would play the accordion while Kevin sat on his lap. In 2003, Don Montoucet joined Kevin on stage at the Cajun French Music Association festival in a set that got a warm, enthusiastic response. They were together again at the CFMA event in 2006, when Kevin announced plans for the CD. Kevin is featured on the CD on vocals and drums, along with other Cajun all-stars, including Jamey Bearb on fiddle and vocals; Paul Fruge on steel guitar and vocals; Montoucet’s son Terry on rhythm guitar; Tommy Bodin on bass guitar; Louis Dronet on fiddle; Dwayne Lavergne on drums. The result is a collection of classic Cajun songs performed in the dancehall style that became popular in the fifties and sixties and that continues to draws crowds onto the dance floors, now located mostly at restaurants.  In addition to the pleasure of hearing Montoucet’s accordion and his collaboration with Kevin Naquin, this CD also gives listeners a chance to enjoy vocals by Jamey Bearb, who has played with Jay Cormier, among others, and Paul Fruge, one of the classic dance hall vocalists who has performed for many years with his father, Blackie Fruge and his band, the Hicks Wagon Wheel Ramblers.

Songs on the CD, released by Swallow Records, are “Eunice Two-Step,” “’Tit yeux bleus,” “Chère tout tout,” “Chère Alice,” “Calcasieu Waltz,” “Marie,” “Lacassine Special,” “Allons à Lafayette,” “Les flames d’enfer,” “J’étais au bal,” and “Amédé Two-Step.”

The book Cajun and Creole Music Makers, published by the University Press of Mississippi, includes interviews with both Leleux and Montoucet along with many photographs.


 Posted 8-13-07.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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