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

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    Robert LeBlanc
      and Friends
Robert C. LeBlanc, a native of Port Arthur, Texas, played music professionally for a short time in the 1970s with the band Cush Cush based in Lafayette, but he spent most of his adult life working in the oil field. He now performs music only as a pastime, gathering with friends to play traditional music in the old style. Fortunately, he decided to share that experience with a wider audience by recording a CD.

As he explains in the liner notes, the title of the CD, "Allons à La Veille Chez Robert," refers to going to an evening visit with neighbors or relatives, often including "coffee, supper, gossip, tall tales, and music." The CD, which was recorded at Mitch and Lisa Reed's Louisiana Heritage and Gifts Store in Carencro, is a collection of back porch songs, played by musicians who clearly  enjoy getting together.

In addition to LeBlanc's vocals and accordion playing, another pleasure of listening to the CD is the twin-fiddling: Mitch Reed with Al Berard seconding. Both know the old style of fiddling to match perfectly with LeBlanc's performance. Lisa Reed's rhythm guitar completes the old-time acoustic sound captured on the CD. Everything is nicely balanced, with clear vocals that will help non-Cajun listeners grasp the words

In the liner notes, LeBlanc say that he chose songs that he heard when he was young in dance halls and at suppers or boucheries. He also plays some songs he learned from old records or radio programs. The cuts include familiar songs like "Hackberry Stomp," "La Valse de Hathaway," "Jongle à Moi," "Chère Bassette," "Ma Vraie Amitié," "Two-Step de Lawtell," "Grand Texas," "La Valse de Port Arthur," "La Valse des Maiches," "La Prairie Ronde," "La Valse de Séparation," and "Donnez-moi-les," as well as songs you perhaps have not heard before like "La Chanson de Cinquante Sous," "La Femme Qui Jouait aux Cartes," "La Valse de Joséphine," and, yes, "La Polka de la Nouvelle Ibérie"–a total of 20 cuts.

The CD was released by Swallow Records of Ville Platte in 2005. According to the CD notes, Robert LeBlanc can be contacted at Robert C. LeBlanc, P. O. Box 52765, Lafayette, LA 70505.

Shown from left are Mitch Reed, Robert LeBlanc, and Lisa Trahan Reed. Al Berard, who plays
second fiddle on the CD, was not able to attend the performance at the Liberty Theater
shown on this page.
Posted 1-4-06.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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