Booking Cajun Country Revival
It’s well known that honky tonk and Cajun music share a past—the South is infamous for the musical cross-pollination that gave birth to some of America’s greatest musical traditions. There are Cajun songs that come from country songs and there are country songs that come from Cajun songs. Bands had to be versatile enough to play the popular tunes for the day and it was not uncommon to hear a good deal of honky tonk music in a Cajun dancehall. This dynamic new group harkens back to the sound of the pre-World War II era and breathes new life into the American roots music scene.
Fiddler Joel Savoy has been a driving force in the Cajun renaissance of the new millennium; founder of the multi-GRAMMY-nominated label Valcour Records and the acclaimed Red Stick Ramblers, Savoy is equally at home playing the old twin-fiddling of Cajun masters like Dennis McGee as he is playing swing or honky tonk. Taking the stage with him is Cajun legend Jesse Lége; a genius on the Cajun accordion and a wonderful singer, Jesse has won every award a musician can win from the Cajun French Music Association. He was recently inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame, and he’s written songs that have become standards, perhaps an artist’s greatest aspiration in traditional folk music. Joining Jesse and Joel is the Caleb Klauder Country Band—one of the hottest bands out of Portland’s burgeoning music scene—which features Klauder, Paul Brainard, Ned Folkerth, Stephen “Sammy” Lind, and Nadine Landry. This spirited collaboration—a powerhouse group that plays their music with such a joyful spirit that the audience can’t help but be swept along—does seem to have, as the song says, “the right combination.”