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

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Shown from top are Stephen, Katie, Paige,
and Linda Rees. Drummer John Rees
can be seen in the background of one photo
in the section below.

The information on this page was last updated in 2006, so be sure to go to the Official Web Site of L’Angélus for updates, including details on a CD of Christmas music.

L’Angélus is a family band with deep roots in Cajun music. They also draw on their musical experiences from earlier years when they got their start as a variety band with a folk-pop slant. As of 2006, the Rees family includes eight children.  The four oldest children and their mother make up the band, with their father serving as band manager. On stage, it is obvious how much they enjoy performing together and the love they share. Their music also reflects their strong Catholic faith. They are not proselytizing in their songs, but, as the name of the group suggests, their music rings out with joy from the spirit.

For anyone interested, the name of the band comes from the Angelus bell that in the Catholic tradition is used to call the faithful to prayer at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. with a triple stroke repeated three times followed by nine successive strokes. The ringing of the bell (Angelus is Latin for angel) also reminds the faithful of the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, the Annunciation telling her that she would be the mother of the son of God. The most famous representation of the call to prayer by the Angelus is the painting by Jean-Francois Millet showing farm workers pausing in the field to pray after hearing the bell toll from a distant steeple. The painting is reproduced on the back of the CD liner notes, along with verses from Longfellow’s poem “Evangeline” in which the poet describes the Angelus sounding from a belfry.

L’Angélus is a Cajun band with a history that began far from Louisiana. According to the story by Amanda L. Guidry published in the August 2006 issue of The Acadian, John Rees, a professional pilot from St. Martin Parish, met his wife, Linda, while he was in training at a naval base in Pensacola. Her family had moved there from Virginia after her father retired from the Navy. Linda, who developed her musical talents over the years, first began performing at a coffee shop in North Dakota, where the family had moved in 1995. Four of her children, Paige, Katie, Johnny, and Steve, became interested in music and eventually joined their mother on stage, learning to play various instruments along the way. After the family moved to Virginia, they continued to expand their musical activities, forming a band that played at festivals throughout the Southeast. They even moved to Nashville to further their musical ambitions.  However, they soon realized that the true inspiration for their music was in Acadiana, in the Cajun culture in which the children first grew up and in the Catholic faith central to that culture. They now live in Lafayette, performing throughout the region and at special events around the country.

The title cut of their first CD, “Ça C’est Bon,” sung in French and English, is full  of energetic joy that won’t be denied regardless of what comes.  “La Chandelle Est Allumée,” written by Dirk and Christine Powell and first recorded by Balfa Toujours, is another song that celebrates joy that cannot be extinguished. “Angelle’s Tippy Teaux Two-Step” includes vocal contributions by Angelle Rees circa age 3.

The band invited two Cajun legends to perform on two cuts. Hadley Castille, who has played with L’Angélus in a number of live appearances, joins Stephen Rees in singing Hadley’s song “Le Swing Texas” (in French: the liner notes give only the English translation but for other French songs the notes include lyrics in both languages). D.L. Menard performs his perennial favorite, “The Back Door,” with Paige Rees singing the second half accompanied by harmony vocals that give a new dimension to this standard. L’Angélus also adds some harmonizing to Clifton Chenier’s "Hey ‘Tite Fille.” 

Two other cuts are in French.“The Waltz of St. Cecilia” is a beautiful song named after the patron saint of music. It opens with highland pipes followed by strings with vocals by Katie Rees. The words to “Hail Mary” in French are the lyrics for “The Waltz of the Sorrowful Mysteries,” sung by Paige Rees.

Original English songs are “Goin’ Back to Ponchatoula,” “Lily Mae,” “Marianne,” and “Desperation War.” The band also performs “Sittin’ here la la, waitin’ for my ya ya.”

      For more information, including booking details and a schedule, go to


Except for the shot above, the photos on this page were taken at the Liberty Theater in Eunice and at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in May 2006. In the above photo, three of the band members are performing on a trailer with Hunter Hayes at the end of the Mamou Christmas Parade in December 2005.

The whole family, minus band manager John Rees Sr., is shown on stage at the Liberty (at the time, Linda Rees was expecting the birth of Mollie Therese Rees, her eighth child).



Posted 8-18-06.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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