Photos above were
taken at a CD release party
for Alligator Purse held at the Blue Moon Saloon
in Lafayette, LA, Jan. 24, 2009.
More photos from this set are post on Flickr.
Click here to
return to the first page on
Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil.
Purse, 2009 CD from BeauSoleil
avec Michael Doucet
Yep Roc Records, which released BeauSoleil’s twenty-nineth
CD titled Alligator Purse in early 2009, the project has
its origins in a 2005 Hurricane Katrina/Rita benefit organized
by Michael Pillot and held at Bard College in upstate New York.
Two years later, Doucet asked Pillot to be the producer of his
next CD, and a number of the musicians at the benefit became
guests artists on the recording.
They gathered during May
and June 2008 at Clubhouse Recording Studio in Rhinebeck, NY, to produce an album
that begins and ends with music from the roots of the Cajun and
Creole tradition but that in between offers a unique musical
experience, displaying Michael Doucet’s extraordinary creativity
and originality, with a little help from his friends.
opens with a Dennis McGee number, “Reel Cajun/451 North St.
Joseph St.” (the address where McGee lived in Eunice) and closes
with an Amédé Ardoin tune, “Valse à Thomas Ardoin.” Along the
way, there’s “Carrière
Zydeco,” a medley of Creole tunes from Bébé
and Eraste Carrière,
and a Cajun standard, “Bosco Stomp.”
The rest of the CD is
full of surprises. “Valse
BeauSoleil” is a traditional waltz accompanied by harmonica
licks supplied by Lovin'
Spoonful's John Sebastian (in a very different style than the
music à bouche heard on some older Cajun recordings). “Marie,”
a Cajun standard, is transformed into swamp pop with sax solos
provided by Andy Stein of Commander Cody and Asleep at the
1934 Alan Lomax a cappella field recording by Fenelus Sonnier is
musically relocated to the Caribbean as
"Rollin' and Tumblin,'" a Muddy Waters song that, according to
Yip Roc, Doucet heard Bob Dylan perform at the New Orleans Jazz
Fest, gets Cajunized as “Rouler et Tourner.”
Doucet adds French
lyrics for “I Spent All My Money Loving You,” which features
Band keyboardist Garth Hudson on the Hammond organ. "Les
Oignions" is a New Orleans Creole jazz tune that features
Dixieland fiddle and trombone supplied by Doucet and Roswell
Two songs are in
English. “The Problem” strums a message about powerlessness in
modern society, but it’s really more about thumping out an
infectious guitar, fiddle and banjo beat (the latter supplied by
Perhaps the most
surprising guest on the CD is Natalie Merchant, whose duet with
Doucet is old time bluegrass with a bit of Jimmy Breaux’s
accordion thrown into the mix.
Is there a title cut?
Yes and no. “Alligator Purse” turns out to be a short jump rope
ditty recited by Doucet near the end of the CD: another surprise
on a delightfully surprising CD.