BeauSoleil, the name means good sun, is the iconic band of its genre, known as Cajun Music; and now they release their latest disc in their 34-plus year history, which not only cements their position as defenders and upholders of the tradition, but, with their original material, also reinforces their status as adventurous innovators at the same time. The band rocks as hard as anyone around, but they only play acoustic instruments. It all started when Michael Doucet went to France to study fiddle and learn more about the music (and culture) that he felt was slowly beginning to disappear in the area of the country he grew up in, the Cajun Country of Louisiana. He along with a few others such as Zachary Richard, Bruce Daigrepont, and Les Frères Michot were early pioneers in the renaissance of Cajun Music, however it was really through the popularity of and energy that BeauSoeil avec Michael Doucet brought to the music that gave it the impetus and attention of the American music public. On this disc the music presented is a homogenous mixture of traditional songs by songwriters such as Dennis McGee, The Balfa Brothers and Sady Courville as mixed with those by Michael and David Doucet, and many other contemporary writers that gives this band its lift.
This disc is thirteen songs and six are listed as traditional and some of the others are written by people with roots in this music such as Bobby Charles and Julie Miller and Michael Doucet. The arrangements thus become critical and here we credit again Michael and BeauSoleil as well as A. Ardoin among others. For this disc they enlisted the help of many friends many of whom will be very familiar to many, people such as Garth Hudson, John Sebastian, Natalie Merchant, and Happy and Artie Traum. People such as this give the disc a bit more color and the occasional instrument that the members of the group don't have in their arsenal. This is a disc that exemplifies the true spirit of Cajun music and is a great collection of music to dance to, or it can serve as an introduction to Cajun Music where the lyrics are in English and French. Michael Doucet (fiddle, vocals) and David Doucet (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Breaux (accordion), Billy Ware (percussion), Tommy Alesi (percussion), and Mitchell Reed (bass, fiddle) comprise BeauSoleil and have done so for a number of years. The harmony and energy that comes from this disc shows how tight they are as musicians and friends.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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