The newest release from this Créole from East Texas is, on one hand a throwback to the old school Créole music, and on the other hand a trail blazing effort that is setting a high standard for all those who will come after him. It is refreshingly new and joyously old school all at the same time. His departure from the Pine Leaf boys a few years ago was friendly on both sides as he just was getting deeper and deeper into the spirit of his culture, and wanted to explore all the musical facets of it. L' Ésprit Créole is sung all in French and the music at times traces the Créole heritage back to its roots in Haiti. However, Watson doesn't discard those in Southwestern Louisiana who came before him such as Clifton Chenier and BeBe Carriere. In exploring these roots he opens up some new musical avenues that have not been explored.
On this disc he wrote nine of the twelve songs; one is traditional that he arranged, and there is one each by Dennis McGee and Bébé Carriere. Bijou Créole, his 4-man band, is as tight as can be and follow and support him no matter the twists and turns in melody and rhythm that he makes. This record, produced and recorded by Joel Savoy —himself a looked to figure on the history of the music of South Louisiana—at his studio in Eunice, Louisiana, is admirable. It is a wonderful mix of textures and rhythms of the area and a record that will surely have you on your feet and dancing. Just put on Carriere's Bluerunner, which is absolutely blistering. Open up the musical portion of your mind and let something that is both tried and true and as new as fresh snow in, and refresh your inner landscape, and make it a little brighter.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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