The Cajun & Zydeco Music of Louisiana
The soundtrack (Volume One of Two) of the Brazos production by Les Blank, Chris Strachwitz & Maureen Gosling. The best Cajun and Zydeco musicians from the past and present. Selections are mostly new recordings made for the film but also included are some historic commercial recordings. Unlike in the film, each song is heard in its entirety.
Also included are additional selections not heard or seen in the film. Also available “J'ai Été Au Bal” Vol.1
1. Blues De Prison - Joseph Jones
2. Zydeco Sont Pas Sales - Jimmy Peters & The Ring Dance Singers
3. Zydeco Sont Pas Sales - Sidney Babineaux *
4. Louisiana Blues - Clifton Chenier
5. Zydeco Sont Pas Sales - Clifton Chenier
6. Back Door, The - D. L. Menard & The Louisiana Aces
7. Under A Green Oak Tree - D. L. Menard/The California Cajuns
8. Another Lonely Night - Belton Richard
9. Do You Love Me So - Johnny Allen
10. Port Arthur Blues - Dewey Balfa
11. Acadian Two-Step / La Valse Criminelle / Jongle A Moi - Rodney Balfa/Balfa Brothers Band *
12. Quoi Faire - Michael Doucet/Beausoleil
13. Rayne One-Step - Paul Daigle
14. I Told Lies - Paul Daigle/Cajun Gold
15. Joe Pitre A Deux Femmes - John Delafose & The Eunice Playboys
16. Johnny Ain't No Goat - Boozoo Chavis
17. I'm A Hog For You - Clifton Chenier/The Red Hot Louisiana Band
18. My Toot Toot - Rockin' Sidney
19. Allons A Lafayette - Wayne Toups/Zydecajun
20. J'ai Ete Au Bal - Michael Doucet/Beausoleil
* = Bonus tracks not on the film.
“. . . these two volumes add up to a brilliantly concise yet comprehensive survey of the great popular music of southern Louisiana . . . As the discs spin, the whirl of fiddles, guitars, accordions, rub-boards and droning vocals cast a spell from which it is impossible to escape. There's a magic in this music that can't be pinned down to specific elements, but that is both illuminated and magnified in J'ai Été Au Bal's grand historical sweep. For anyone interested in American regional music, these recordings (and the video) are indispensable.”
(Derk Richardson — The Bay Guardian)
“In a previous review of a Cajun/Zydeco compilation I opined that even the most comprehensive selection is bound to leave out somebody's favourite. Arhoolie do indeed make such a disclaimer in their notes, but really they needn't have bothered; these two CDs cover just about everyone you could wish to see represented, plus several you'd never have thought of. This is more or less the soundtrack to the film of the same name, and it's the proverbial Who's Who of Louisiana music-making.
What I like particularly is that an attempt has been made to dig deep for the roots of this music, so that someone turned on by modern bands like BeauSoleil can - to coin the rootist adage - listen to the people they listened to. Thus we get a couple of fiddle solos from Mike Doucet juxtaposed with the playing of Lionel LeLeux. Dennis McGee (wonderful!) and Canray Fontenot, all major influences on Doucet's style. Or you could follow the Cajun accordion from Amédé Ardoin and Joe Falcon in the '20s, through the blusier and more aggressive style of the post war greats Nathan Abshire and Iry Lejeune, to the Rolls Royce of Marc Savoy and the youthful talent of Paul Daigle. More intriguing yet, there's a Zydeco sequence ranging from an astonishing chanted version of 'Les Haricots Sont Pas Sales' that sounds as if it came straight out of Africa, to Sidney Babineaux' prototype accordion arrangement of the same song and Clifton Chenier's full-blown Zydeco treatment of it. And nor have they forgotten the fringe hybrids with Western swing (Hackberry Ramblers, Harry Choates) and rock 'n' roll (Belton Richard, Johnnie Allen). There's a lot of thought gone into this.
Some of it is unashamedly down-homey; tapping feet, shouted asides, children's voices chiming through a delightful Marc and Ann Savoy duet, and the churning morass of the old Joe Falcon recordings may offend ears attuned to the clinical sound of the modern studio, but are part and parcel of Cajun music. But don't get the idea it's all Fred Jordans and no Oyster Bands (to choose a local analogy), there is dynamite aplenty from Queen Ida, Boozoo Chavis, the Balfa Brothers (in devastating form on a 1976 live take) and Wayne Toups, as well as Chenier and BeauSoleil themselves.
I know it's all right for me to say, getting free review albums and all that, but this is pretty well essential.”
(Brian Peters — Folk Roots)