FAME Review: BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - From Bamako to Carencro
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - From Bamako to Carencro

From Bamako to Carencro

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

Available from Compass Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

For approximately the past 37 years BeauSoleil has been playing some of the most exciting and innovative Cajun music to be found anywhere in this solar system. They do this while at the same time adhering to the traditions that were instilled in them while learning. It is a delicate balance to push the form forward, and at the same time maintain the traditional values. And yet they walk this tightrope and give you clues to what they are doing. Kind of an odd title you think, however it actually relates to the migratory and cultural trail Cajun music has followed; from Bamako in Mali, West Africa to Carencro just outside of Lafayette LA (the area the band started and still resides).

There are eleven songs on this disc, three are traditional, one is by Michael Doucet who also gets a co-write on another with Mitchell Reed who plays bass, fiddle, and banjo; two are by traditional Cajun artists, one by Canray Fontenot and one by Dennis McGee; there is one, You Got To Move that was a co-write by Mississippi Fred McDowell and Reverend Gary Davis; and then there are two very unexpected songs by unexpected songs/songwriters, I'll Go Crazy by James Brown, and also John Coletrane's Bessie's Blues. This gives you an idea of the broad spectrum of material that they cover; and yet each tune sounds as if it was written for them, can you imagine James Brown in French? BeauSoleil is the consummate group where each member is integral and essential to the sound and the music. When they get the twin fiddles cranking, which is typical of traditional Cajun music they are a force to relax into and just flow with. Never disappointing in their scope or musical excellence, even with the surprises.

Track List:

  • Two-Step de Port Arthur
  • La Douceur
  • Bamako
  • Carencro
  • Chanson de Cinquante Sous
  • Les Barres de la Prison
  • Bessie's Blues
  • I'll Go Crazy
  • You Got to Move
  • Le Jig Créole
  • Guilbeau Pelican & Napoléon's Reel

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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