A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Arthur Berman
Within the folk community the nineties might fairly be called the decade of the singer songwriter. Headline spots at folk festivals and more and more airplay seems to be going to people singing personal songs they have written. Without sacrificing their creativity and style, Waylon Thibodeaux and Gina Forsyth provide a contrast to this trend as they render a generous 16 tunes in authentic Cajun style on their new release, Dans La Louisiane, on W.G. Records.
Songs as well known as Allons a Lafayette, Jolie Blonde, and Jambalaya are given fresh yet authentic treatment by this pair of musicians from Louisiana. The resumes of both Thibodeaux and Forsyth are clearly in order. Thibodeaux has performed with such luminaries as Beausoleil, Jo-El Sonnier, and Bruce Daigrepont. Forsyth has traded licks with the likes of Dewey Balfa and D.L. Menard. This CD shows they can certainly hold their own in such elevated company.
This CD will be of interest to those who enjoy their cajun music undiluted and clear. This acoustic release features just the duo with some overdubbing to round out the sound. Since Thibodeaux plays both fiddle and rhythm guitar on the CD while Forsyth contributes performances on fiddle, lead and rhythm guitars I would have liked to know who was playing what when. Nevertheless all of the music is fine as they trade licks back and forth and emote those wonderful cajun songs.
I'd compare Forsyth and Thibodeaux's distinctive sound to the Savoy-Doucet Band. This duo is well grounded in their tradition, but this is not a hidebound recreation of the past. This music is alive. As anyone who has attended a Cajun event knows, this music is for dancing and partying. To their credit one can feel the joy and emotion in the music even if one cannot understand the French lyrics. The beat and spirit says, "Roll up the rug and dance!"
In addition to the cuts named above the CD includes:
[Edited by: Paula Gregorowicz]
Copyright 1996, Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.