Pictured at the Liberty Theater and at a
performance during the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week at Chicot State Park are Henry Hample on
fiddle, Kirk Dugas on guitar, and Robert Doucet on accordion.
For more information, go to the Fricassée Cajun Band's MySpace page.
The Fricassée Cajun Band
brings together a couple of veteran Louisiana Cajun musicians with a
transplanted New Yorker who fell in love with the music and eventually
moved to Louisiana.
Add in a couple of other members to the original trio that formed after
meeting in jam sessions, and you have a band that plays the best in down
home Cajun music in the old style. The band members list as
influences Iry Lejeune, Lawrence Walker, Nathan Abshire, D.L. Menard, and
the Balfa Brothers.
Kirk Dugas, who plays rhythm
guitar, is from Jeff Davis Parish. His family settled in Lake Arthur,
and he grew up in Jennings before moving to Lafayette in 1979. A
Cajun musician for more than 30 years, he played with the Dugas Brothers
and the Back Door Band and currently is also a member of the Mélange Cajun
Band, which is headed by his brother Doug. In addition to taking part
in jam sessions, he has played several times with Sheryl Cormier and Cajun
Sounds at the Liberty Theater.
Robert Doucet, the
group’s accordionist, has been playing for 16 years. A native of Lafayette, he has
taken part in jam sessions in the area and has sat in with the Mélange
Henry Hample, who was
born in New Rochelle, N.Y., says on his MySpace page that his musical
ventures have included punk rock, folk rock, folk, bluegrass, and, most
recently, traditional Cajun music. He earned a master’s in ethnomusicology
from Brown University in 1998. A participant in
the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage camps organized by Louisiana Folk
Roots, he has mastered not only the Cajun fiddle but also old style Cajun
vocals. He moved to Arnaudville in 2007 and, in 2008, married Yvonne
Oliver. In addition to performing with Fricassée and with other bands
like Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sounds, he served in 2008 as director of Folk
Roots’ first Cajun and Creole Summer Camp for Kids. He teaches music at the
Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau.
Fricassée has not
released a CD yet, but check out the recordings available through the group’s MySpace page
as well as the separate page
posted by Henry Hample, which includes recordings with other
MySpace page also lists upcoming gigs. Anyone who loves traditional
Cajun music definitely needs to seek out this band.