“Everything But The Squeak”
A Cajun Boucherie and other Louisiana Traditions
with the Savoy Family Neighbors & Friends in Eunice, Fred's Lounge in mamou, the pig, and More!
Arhoolie Foundation Video DVD 201
30 minutes - COLOR.
Most people today have forgotten (or never knew!) how families used to get together for a "boucherie" in the days before everything could be found in the freezer of your friendly grocery store. A few families however are trying to continue the old traditions and this video documents one such lively event where friends and neighbors gather and bring vegetables and deserts to compliment all the meat dishes (except the squeak!) obtained from the newly butchered hog and celebrate the feast with music and dancing with music by Aldus Roger, Ann Savoy, Ken Smith, Donald Thibodeaux and Cajun Fever, Tante Sue, the Huval brothers, Cheese Read, the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band etc.
The film also explores some of the musical traditions of the area including a visit to Fred's Lounge in Mamou where the owner, Tante Sue helps out with a fine vocal durring the weekly radio broadcast which features Donald Thibodeaux and Cajun Fever. The teen aged Huval Brothers explain how they have been encouraged to carry on the music of their ancestors by not only hearing it on the radio but by attending the weekly Saturday morning jam sessions at the Savoy Music Center.
“The disappearing art of the traditional Cajun boucherie has been preserved in ‘Everything But the Squeak!’…the meat of the [film], so to speak, is the boucherie, which as presented in ‘Everything’ is much more than a pig-out.
‘It’s people working and having a party at the same time,’ says Marc Savoy, a master accordionist in his own right. He and his wife, Ann, on guitar, along with Cajun band BeauSoleil’s frontman Michael Doucet, make up the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, which records for Arhoolie Records. ‘It’s life well-balanced: the merger of the bad part – the work – and the fun part, the food.’ Adding to the fun part, of course, is the joyous Cajun music, which is informally performed throughout the boucherie by whoever wants to play.
‘It’s so earthy and so natural, and if you have to do work, why not add a little fun to it by playing a tune?’ Savoy asks…The video is indeed graphic in its documenting of the pig kill and butchering. ‘Some yuppie friends of mine say it’s a little bloody and are turned off, but sh*t, this is where their food comes from,’ says Strachwitz. ‘People today don’t have a clue where pork chops come from, and it’s important to document an event that used to be very common in Louisiana and is so much more fun than buying meat at the grocery.’ Savoy’s feast and the Arhoolie Foundation’s [film] also serve as a means of passing on the tradition to the next generation.”
– Jim Bessman, Billboard Magazine (this review refers to the VHS version)