The thumbnails above were taken at a tribute
to Adam Hebert held at Acadian Village March
17, 2007, sponsored by the Lafayette Chapter
of the Cajun French Music Association. In
the photo with stage guests crowded around
the microphone, everyone is shouting "Zydeco!"--a
cheer that the crowd shouts out along with
the band during "Zydeco Gris Gris."
The photos above were taken
at Festival International in Lafayette April
27, 2007, in a program titled "Cajun
Drinking Songs," featuring performances from
the CD Allons Boire un Coup. The
thumbnail of Cedric was probably taken when
he was singing his haunting version of "La
Jog à Plombeau."
The photos above, including the shot of
Jumpin' Jon Bertrand on guitar, were taken
at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, May
Click here for photos of the Pine Leaf Boys
performing at La Pay E
Bas, an RV camp located at the end of a long
gravel road, where the LeJeune Cove
Mardi Gras held their dance.
Pine Leaf Boys: 2007 CD
Blues de Musicien
Note: In late 2007, The Pine Leaf Boys' 2007 CD
was nominated to receive a Grammy Award in the newly established Best Zydeco or
Cajun Music Album category.
During spring 2007, the Pine Leaf Boys have achieved
national stature with a two-page profile in the March 4, 2007, New York Times (“Cajun Sound, Rock ’n’
Roll Energy”) followed by a
strong endorsement from a Rolling Stone reviewer, while their second CD,
Blues de Musicien, stayed at the top of the charts at the Roots Music Report.
That's all well and good, but what do Cajuns around here
think of them? The Lafayette Chapter of the Cajun French Music Association chose
the Pine Leaf Boys as one of the bands to play at a tribute to Adam Hebert, the
legendary Cajun musician and songwriter, who, along with a CFMA crowd from
various chapters, loved the excitement generated by a band that can take both
the substance and the spirit of the
tradition and channel it with their own inspired energy. On the last evening of
the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week at Chicot State Park, deep in
rural Evangeline Parish, Moisey and Louella Baudoin came all the way from Erath
near the coast to listen and dance to the Pine Leaf Boys. As Cajun
music lovers who have attended almost every traditional music program at the
Liberty Theater for 20 years, the Baudoins were there at Chicot standing in front
by the stage along with a
crowd of all ages from all over the country, clapping, bouncing, and dancing to
the "Pine Leaf Two-Step."
To get the full effect, you really need to be there in
person for the Pine Leaf Boys Experience, but listening to Blues de Musicien will, at the very least, transport you to a different
realm, where nothing is held back and the music makes anything possible.
Once you hear the band's version of "Zydeco Gris Gris" (Michael Doucet's
song based on a tune from Bois Sec Ardoin), you may never be quite the same,
or, as the lyrics put it, "pas capab' froidir sang qu'apé bouilli" ("can't cool the
blood that's boiling in the bayou"). And that's after listening to
13 other cuts, including six originals and some inspired versions of older
Among the new songs are the title cut, Wilson Savoy's "Blues de Musicien,"
a bouncy two-step with lyrics that complain about separation and with an
irrepressible beat that
wins out over the blues, and Cedric Watson's "Mon coeur fait mal," another
two-step in which, despite the song's title, the lively Creole tune is more joyful than sad. Wilson's "Pine
Leaf Boogie" is in the Zydeco tradition of making the lyrics simple extensions of the rhythm. "Ma
petite femme" is an old-time fiddle blues in
Creole French, with Wilson on keyboard to accompany Cedric's crying fiddle and
Jon Bertrand's broken-hearted guitar. Drew Simon's "J'ai perdu ma chance"
revisits the traditional Cajun waltz theme of lost love. The most unusual new
cut is an a cappella number in the juré tradition of singing and clapping.
The words to "Quand Rita est arrivé,"
the juré written by
Jon Bertrand, describe
the devastation visited on Lake Charles and the western region of Louisiana by
Hurricane Rita, the powerful storm in 2005 that swamped the coastline from New Iberia to
East Texas and howled inland with winds of 120 miles an hour but that never
gained much national attention in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The most beautiful song on the entire CD may be Austin
Pitre's "Chère joues roses" on which Wilson and Cedric play
twin fiddles through an old Fender amp in a version that may be even more
haunting than the original recording. Cedric does the vocals on that song, on
Ulysse Poirier's "Musician avec un coeur cassé," a lovely waltz, and on a
rousing version of "Creole Mardi Gras" (familiar to many in the version by
Boozoo Chavis). Drew Simon captures the irrecoverable sorrow of Belton Richard's "Pardon Waltz"
and also sings "Wild Side of Life," an English song that Belton translated into
French. Wilson gives us his interpretation of Nathan Abshire's "La valse de
Belizaire," including some revised lyrics. The only instrumental is a fiddle tune
from Canray Fontenot titled "Jig Cajin."
The CD was engineered and mixed by David
Rachou, La Louisianne Records, and released by Arhoolie Records.
Laura Edmiston and Wilson Savoy are
shown doing "Pine Grove Blues."
Click to enlarge.
addition to this CD, the Pine Leaf Boys also
performed on the
Valcour Records CD
Allons Boire un Coup. Their
version of "The Pine Grove Blues," with Anna
Laura Edmiston, is the only recording I have
heard in which the responses are given by
the woman who is object of the singer's
scorn, as opposed to the comments
volunteered by other band members in the
classic Nathan Abshire recording. The direct
exchange between Wilson and Anna Laura, along with
Wilson's rock-retro opening and closing
played on an organ, make this version stand
out from the many other covers of this song.
In their live gigs, the Pine Leaf Boys
really cut loose on this one. The CD also
features Cedric Watson on fiddle and vocals
with Joel Savoy and Chris Stafford on
"La Jog à Plombeau"
and a cappela on "Table Ronde."
Click here to go to
the Pine Leaf Boys Official Web site.
Click here for LSUE's first page on the Pine