View larger image

Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin with Canray Fontenot - La Musique Creole

CAT. #: 445

Price: $15.00

CD 445

This CD includes the first album ever recorded by an African American Cajun band. What you hear here however, is not yet Zydeco, but the traditional “French” or “Creole” music of the rural, mostly French speaking African American population of southwest Louisiana.

Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, a cousin of Amédé's, is today carrying on this remarkable family tradition, even though he lost his long time partner and fiddler, Canray Fontenot, to cancer in 1995. From the 1960s into the 90s, "Bois Sec" and fiddler extraordinaire, Canray Fontenot, became the best known exponents of authentic Creole music. They made appearances at national folk festivals from Newport to the Smithsonian and they traveled to Europe. They also became a regular feature at the delightful annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the tourist industry took advantage of Canray's exuberant and winning smile by using his photos in magazines, ads, and brochures to promote the regional culture.

Recorded in 1966 and 1971 & 1973; and previously released (except for #24) on Melodion LP 7330 or Arhoolie LP/C 1970.

1. Les Blues Du Voyageur
2. Jolie Bassette
3. Quo Faire
4. Le Chicot A' Bois Sec
5. Bon Soir Moreau
6. La Robe Barree
7. 'Tit Monde
8. Valse A' Canray
9. La Valse De La Prison
10. La Danse De La Misere
11. La Valse D'oberlin
12. Les Haricots
13. Fais Pas Ca!
14. Duralde Ramble
15. 'Tit Galop
16. Allez-Vous-En (All Ez-Vous-En)
17. Laccasine Breakdown
18. Chere Ici, Chere La Bas
19. Opelousas Waltz
20. Petite Et La Grosse
21. Le Boss(Rice Farmer)
22. Jupe Courte
23. Jolie Catin
24. Ardoin Two-Step
25. Home Sweet Home


“First released in 1967 on the Melodeon label (and later on Biograph), the first half of this CD is the finest example of old style la la, or authentic Creole, music, later transformed by Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis into Zydeco, that one can find. Old style was generally an equal interplay of accordion and fiddle and is done superbly here by the celebrated partnership of 'Bois Sec'Ardoin and Fontenot. Sung entirely in French, the album is full of blues and French dance tunes reflecting their deeply personal hardships and joys. Joyous, rambunctious, melancholic, reflective and moody, it has it all. The second part, recorded by Chris Strachwitz in their home near Mamou, Louisiana, while in a slightly more modern setting, is still the ultimate old time Creole experience. Alphonse is a cousin of Amede Ardoin, the first Creole accordionist to document this Creole playing in his seminal 20s and 30s recordings, and is carrying the tradition as he has from the early 60s. Unfortunately Canray Fontenot is no longer with us, having died in July of 1995, Truly, this CD is a must, an all platinum recording for its merits as a musical heritage of this lost, vast country we call home.”

(Steve Dean — Music City Texas)