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

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 Ann Savoy and Her
 Sleepless Knights

High res photos of Ann Savoy and Her Sleepless Knights on Flickr.

Click here to go to the MySpace page for Ann Savoy and Her Sleepless Knights.

Click here for the Sleepless Knights page on Ann Savoy's Official Web Site.

The pictures above show Ann Savoy at the Black Pot Festival, held at Acadian Village in Lafayette. The other shots are from the Liberty in the LSUE Performing Arts Series. Kevin Wimmer and Tom Mitchell are shown in the top photo. Joel Savoy, Tom Mitchell, and Eric Frey are in the other shot. At the bottom of the page is a photo of the Sleepless Knights at the Liberty. The other shot of the entire group is from the Black Pot Festival.

Ann Savoy's Official Web Site has information on all of her activities.

We at LSUE were fortunate enough to host an evening with Ann Savoy and Her Sleepless Knights as part of our Fall 2006 Performing Arts Series. Occasionally when the Magnolia Sisters sing a ballad, listeners have had a chance to experience the muted luster of Ann Savoy’s beautifully natural voice that casts its spell over everyone who hears it in Adieu False Heart, the CD she did with Linda Ronstadt.  Her new group gives her an opportunity to display her vocal talents with jazz numbers. While, compared to Cajun music, they are definitely uptown rather than down home, these songs are immensely appealing, which is why many have been standards for decades. The Sleepless Knights are mostly members of the Red Stick Ramblers. Kevin Wimmer, whose virtuosity extends from Balfa to Bach, is featured on fiddle. Joining him is another virtuoso, Baltimore jazz guitarist Tom Mitchell. The two previously performed together on Double Scotch, a CD released in 1998.

The CD begins with the title cut, “If Dreams Come True,” a nice, easy-going Billie Holliday number from 1938. Benny Goodman, a co-author of the song, recorded it as an instrumental, and Kevin Wimmer’s fiddling provides the melody originally played by Goodman’s clarinet, followed by solos from Wilson Savoy on piano and Tom Mitchell on guitar. Ann’s vocals for the song set the mood for the rest of the CD with a relaxed, seemingly effortless elegance.  The song is an invitation to close your eyes and glide along with Wimmer’s fiddle into the next cut, “The Very Thought of You,” first recorded in 1934. Ann’s voice is silkily, tenderly romantic, matched by Kevin, Tom, and Wilson in their solos.

Django Reinhardt’s “Melodie au Crepuscule” is indeed, true to its title, a quietly reflective twilight piece. As a change of tempo, “Getting Some Fun Out of Life,” another Billie Holliday song, sparkles and effervesces. (Later on the CD, Ann also sings another Billie Holliday number, “Like Reaching for the Moon.”) The next cut, Bessie Smith’s “If You Don’t I Know Who Will,” from 1923, is sweetly cajoling.

“Ces petites choses” is a French version of “These Foolish Things Remind Me of You,” the perennial favorite that dates from the 1930s.  Another familiar song, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” from a 1940 musical, has complaining lyrics, but, performed by the Sleepless Knights, this version might be described as soothingly bewitching.

“If Your Kisses Can’t Hold the Man You Love, (then your tears won’t bring him back)” is a forgotten gem, a song originally from a musical that Sophie Tucker later used to close her cabaret act. Ann’s voice is both seductive and unforgiving. Joel Savoy is featured on a mournful octave violin with drum and guitar rhythms suggesting a funeral march, all in a 1930s blues style that is as resolute as it is sorrowful.

George Ulmer’s “Si tu savais” is a song of melancholy abandonment, a kind jazz cabaret version of the “tu m’as quitté pour t’en aller” theme in Cajun songs.  The last number is another sprightly jazz interpretation of a familiar song, “The Way You Look Tonight.”

Other musicians on the CD not previously mentioned above are Chas Justus on rhythm guitar; Glenn Fields on drums, both members of the Red Stick Ramblers. The CD was released on Memphis International Records.

Click here to go to LSUE's first page on Marc and Ann Savoy.



Posted 7-14-07.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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