here for high resolution photos of the Magnolia Sisters posted on Flickr.
Lapin, Lapin: chansons Cajuns
et Creoles pour les enfants, released in 2005 by The Magnolia Sisters,
is a real gem. The CD features French songs for children from many
decades ago, but the music is not just "pour les enfants." Everyone of
all ages is going to enjoy this music. Click
here for more information and recent photos of the group. To order
the CD, go to the Magnolia
Sisters Official Web Site.
Magnolia Sisters 2004: Après Faire Le Boogie Woogie
Click here for
more information on the 2004 CD.
Shown at the South Louisiana
Acoustic Music Festival in Lafayette
Oct. 1, 2004, are Jane Vidrine, Ann Savoy, "Mr. Sister" Kenny
Alleman, Anya Schoenegge,
and Lisa Trahan.
Magnolia Sisters 2003
The Magnolia Sisters
are shown performing at a political rally in Eunice for Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, shown at right, who was elected
governor November 15, 2003. The Magnolia Sisters recorded a campaign song
for Blanco to the tune of Alex Broussard's "Le Sud
de la Louisiane." The song was used in
Click here to go to the official
Magnolia Sisters web page.
Here are a few photos of the Magnolia Sisters at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish
Festival May 3, 2003. Pictured are Ann Savoy, at left, on accordion; Jane
Vidrine, immediately below, on fiddle; Lisa Trahan, on bass. The newest
member of the Magnolia Sisters is Anya Schoenegge, who plays both guitar and fiddle. She also
has a fiddle repair business.
Ann Savoy told the crowd that The
Magnolia Sisters will be releasing thir third CD
some time during the summer.
For more information on The Magnolia
Sisters, look at the background given in the lower section of this page. LSUE's Mardi Gras pages also have 2003 photos of the
group at The Liberty Theater.
The top photo of Ann Savoy on accordion with Jane Vidrine and Christine
Balfa was taken at Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette in September
1999. The next four photographs were taken during a performance on the
LSUE campus. The photo of Tina Pilione playing the mandolin instead of her
usual fiddle was taken at the Liberty Theatre during a special performance
for the LSU Board of Supervisors and top LSU System officials the evening
before a board meeting was held on the LSUE campus. The bottom photo was
taken in 1998 at the Mamou Cajun Music Festival:
from left, Tina Pilione, Ann Savoy, Jane Vidrine, Lisa Trahan.
background information describes The Magnolia Sisters based on the group's
membership from 1999 to 2002. Click
here to go to the official Magnolia Sisters web page.
While it is true that three out of five
Magnolia Sisters are not originally from Louisiana
no other Cajun band today can surpass their collective knowledge of Cajun
music. Ann Savoy, who co-founded the group with Jane Vidrine in 1995, was
raised in Richmond, Va., but learned to speak French while
still a child. She married Marc Savoy after
meeting him at the 1975 National Folklife Festival
in Washington, D.C. A talented musician, she was soon not
only playing Cajun music but also engaging in extensive research, leading to
the publication of her superb collection of songs, interviews, and
photographs, Cajun Music: A Reflection of
a People. Jane Vidrine's interest in
French folk traditions dates from the 1970's, when she was folk arts
coordinator for the National Park Service, a job that included research into
traditional French folk music in Missouri.
In 1984, she married John Vidrine and moved to Lafayette, where, as a museum curator, she
continued her research into folk traditions. She has been engaged in many
other research projects as part of her work to promote a better understanding
of Cajun culture. Tina Pilione, a California
native, decided she had to come to Louisiana
after hearing the Balfa Brothers play in Seattle in 1978. She earned a zoology
degree from the University
of Southwestern Louisiana,
but, after being employed by the state for a few year,
joined Marc Savoy to work with him building accordions. She has played the
Cajun fiddle for more than 15 years.
The two native Louisianians
in the group are Lisa Trahan and Christine Balfa. Trahan, who was raised in
Scott, is the daughter of accordionist Harry Trahan and grand niece of the
1920s recording artist Bixby Guidry. Balfa, who grew up in rural Tepetate near Basile, is the
youngest daughter of the legendary Dewey Balfa.
All five women play in other bands: Ann
Savoy with her husband, Marc, in the Savoy-Doucet
Band and other groups; Jane Vidrine with her husband, John, in Nez-Piqué;
Trahan with her then husband, Mitchell Reed, in Vieux
Temps and more recently with L'esprit Cajun;
Pilione with the Cajun band Jesse Legé and the Lake
Charles Ramblers; and Balfa with her husband, Dirk Powell, in Balfa Toujours.
The Magnolia Sisters gives these women a
chance to use their vast knowledge of Cajun musical traditions in
performing their own versions of old Cajun tunes, remaining faithful to the
old-time sound while also, in a few instances, providing their own feminine
interpretations of songs that typically see the world from a male perspective.
For example, on their first CD, Prends Courage (the title song was originally
recorded by the legendary female Cajun musician Cleoma
Breaux Falcon), "Les filles à Nonc Hilaire"
becomes "Les fils" and D.L. Menard's
"Elle savait pas j'étais
marié" becomes "Il savait
pas j'étais mariée."
The Magnolia Sisters, who play at
festivals and at private events like wedding receptions, also include
American folk songs performed in English as part of their repertoire.
Click here for information about Chers Amis, the
group's second album, and pictures taken at the 2000 Breaux Bridge Crawfish
Click here for photos of the Magnolia Sisters in