Zydeco Music & Jamming
Zydeco, a foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ music is
an integral part of the culture of Lafayette, Louisiana. It
is considered black, Creole music, with French lyrics and comes
from a song called “Les haricots sont pas sale” or “The
snap beans aren’t salty.” Historically, when people
talked about “les haricots” music it was slurred
in their speech to morph into “zydeco.” Musicians
played during a breakfast recently at Café Des Amis
in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, which bears the signatures on
the doorposts of Tim Zagat as well as Rauschenberg. Local art
is displayed on the walls while patrons munch on local delicacies
such as spicy crawfish stuffed cornbread, fried alligator, various flavored grits, sweet beignets dusted with
powdered sugar and boudin patties (spicy meat).
Meanwhile, dancing to the
beat, men and women are doing a brisk variation of a two-step
while musicians play the accordion, guitar (bass and regular),
a washboard (frottoir), drums, a triangle (fer), accompanied
by a singer.
the afternoon, we go on to a jam session of Cajun music.
It’s a relaxed
place for music lovers to just drop in and practice, enjoy,
brush up on old songs, learn new ones and chat in-between.
Mama Redell has spicy jambalaya on the stove with white rice
and pork rinds, self-service in the kitchen while out in
front, CDs of Cajun music along with souvenirs are sold.
Called Louisiana Heritage and Gifts in Lafayette, it is definitely
worth a stop.
include violinists, accordion players, and guitarists. Some
players are farmers in this area where rice and sugar cane
proliferate. The group gradually swells to about 25 in a
small room where about 20 are players who congregate every
Saturday, while during weekday eves, lessons are given. Most
of the players don’t
read music; they learn by just playing along. The accordion
player chooses the song and sings loudly while the musicians
all tap their feet in time.
Linda Castle lives nearby
in Arnaudville, Louisiana. Originally from San Francisco
in the biotechnology field, she has traded the hectic pace
of the big city for jamming with her violin for over three
Smith, age 76 comes to jam from Eunice. Originally an oil
been coming here for two years. His first fiddle, made from
a cigar box when he was seven years old, had strings made
from window screens. He recalls his abject poverty and how
proud he was when his daddy finally bought him a fiddle for
we left, two young men were jamming alone on the porch: Joshua
Richard on leave from the marines was fiddling at a fast
pace with fancy finger work while Aaron Chesson accompanied
him on the accordion. They had formed their own group called
The Hadiah Playboys.#
during breakfast at Café Des Amis
Richard & Arron