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BeauSoleil

The formation of BeauSoleil, one of the best known and most highly respected cajun bands in the world, is due to fiddler Michael Doucet's desire to keep the unique southern Louisiana culture and music from extinction. But while BeauSoleil originated to help preserve his cajun musical heritage, over the years it has also been known for its innovation. They are continually adding spice from other musical genres including jazz and Caribbean. In this way, BeauSoleil keeps the music vital and contemporary.

Doucet was born and raised in Cajun country surrounded by the old French songs that comprise the basis of the music. But from the time of his birth to his adulthood in the 1960s, Cajun culture began to disappear. Young Doucet, thinking Cajun music antiquated and passé, began his musical career playing rock with New Orleans influence. He began getting into folk-rock towards the end of the '60s and even tried singing a few of his numbers in French. It was a song from the British folk group Fairport Convention and their song, "Cajun Woman," that re-sparked his interest in his native music. He went to France and England in 1973 just before he was to enter grad school in the U.S. He ended up staying many years studying with Scottish fiddle great Barry Dransfield, who eventually introduced him to his idol Richard Thompson. Later, Doucet credited Thompson for influencing his own compositions. The young fiddler's stay in France also had a profound influence. There he saw that the roots of Cajun were still very much alive. The old songs were still sung, and he heard their centuries-old influence in newer folk songs. It made him realize how modern Cajun music was in comparison. In the mid-'70s, Doucet joined Coteau, an improvisational folk-music based French group that was known as the Cajun equivalent to the Grateful Dead. After a time with them, he returned to the U.S., determined to immerse himself in Cajun musical history. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supported him as he located the nearly forgotten early composers and performers of Cajun music.

Armed with many traditional Cajun songs, Doucet formed BeauSoleil with some of the finest Cajun musicians, Dennis McGee, Dewey and Will Balfa, Varise Connor, Canray Fontenot, and Bessyl Duhon. Their band name literally means "good sun" and is a reference to a fertile region in Nova Scotia. In the 17th century, French speaking Acadians lived in the Canadian province until conflicts with the French and British forced them to migrate down to Louisiana where they became called Cajuns. BeauSoleil cut its first record in 1976 and released it only in France. They made their American debut the following year with The Spirit of Cajun Music. It was an eclectic work illustrating the many musical styles from which Cajun music is derived. In 1988, Doucet received the first annual Clifton Chenier Award as the finest musician in French-speaking Louisiana. Since 1985, the band has been nominated for (and won) numerous Grammys. They have played on movie soundtracks such as The Big Easy, Passion Fish, and Belizaire the Cajun. They have played at jazz and folk festivals around the world and have also appeared on numerous television shows ranging from CNN's Showbiz Today to Austin City Limits to Late Night with Conan O'Brien. BeauSoleil also performs regularly on public radio, most notably on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion. Keillor has hailed them as the "best Cajun band in the world." They have performed with Mary Chapin Carpenter, and opened for the Grateful Dead. After taking a short studio break in 2004, the band celebrated its 30-year tenure with 2009's Alligator Purse, an all-new set of tunes that was typically eclectic and absolutely danceable. A live CD/DVD set of an intimate performance by the band from 2007, Make the Veiller, was issued in 2009. ~ Sandra Brennan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

1. Acadian Two Step

2. Reel De Dennis Mcgee

3. Tu Peut Pas Me Refuser

4. Cajun Crawl

5. Klfy Waltz

6. Grand Mallett

7. Evangeline Waltz

8. Zydeco Gris Gris

9. Reel De Nez-Pique

10. La Valse Des Grandes Meches

11. Jig Francais

12. Mardi Gras Song

13. Jeunes Filles De La Compagne

14. Madame Soustain

15. Sur Le Courtableau

16. Chere Bebe

17. Chanson D'Acadie

18. Le Soleil Brille

x

Track List: The Best Of The Crawfish Years 1985-1991

1. Maman Rosin Boudreaux

2. Pine Grove Blues

3. La Chanson Du Cafe (Live)

4. Jongle A Moi

5. Bunk's Blues

6. Cochon De Lait

7. Zydeco Gris Gris

8. Cajun Groove (Scott Playboy Special)

9. Woman Or A Man

10. Chez Seychelles

11. Hey Baby, Quoi Ca Dit?

12. Macaque Sur Mon Dos

13. Reel De Dennis McGee

14. Valse Bebe

15. It's You I Love

16. Johnny Peut Pas Dancer

17. Bon Temps Rouler

x

Track List: The Best Of Beausoleil

1. Parlez-Nous A Boire (Speak To Us Of Drinking)

2. Tous Les Deux Pour La Meme (For The Same Girl)

3. J'Ai Ete Au Zydeco (I Went To The Zydeco)

4. Voyage Au Mariage (My True Love)

5. Courtableau (Bayou Corableu)

6. La Valse Des Jonglemonts (The Pensive Waltz (Instrumental)

7. Mercredi Soire Passe (Last Wednesday's Soire)

8. Grand Mallet

9. Bee's Blues

10. Shoo, Black

11. Leger's Chase (The Mardi Gras Song) (Instrumental)

12. Je Veux Me Marier (I Want To Marry)

13. Valse De Grand Meche (Waltz Of The Big Marsh)

14. Joe Pitre's So Bad

15. Creole French Blues

16. Chanson D'Acadie (Song For Acadia)

17. Le Bozo Two-Step (Instrumental)

18. Si J'Aurais De Ailes (If I Had Wings)

19. Chez Varise Connor (Instrumental)

20. La Channson De Cinquante Sous (The $.50 Song)

21. La Valse Du Vacher (Cowboy Waltz)

22. Hot Chili Mama

x

Track List: L'amour Ou La Folie

1. Newz Reel

2. Les Blues De Creve De Faim

3. L'amour Ou La Folie

4. It's A Sin To Tell A Lie (C'est Un Peche De Dire Un Menterie)

5. Eunice Two-Step

6. Charivari

7. Boudreaux

8. Valse A Pop

9. Can't You See (Tu Vas Voir)

10. Les Blues De La Prison

11. Danse Caribe

12. Valse J'aime

13. Courir Avec Walker

14. Ma Vie S'est Arretee

x

Track List: L' Echo

1. Chez Denouse McGee

2. O Bebe Waltz

3. Freeman's Zydeco

4. Quel Espoir

5. La Ville Des Manteau

6. Lizzette La Douce

7. Evangeline Waltz

8. One Iota

9. Joe Falcon's Waltz

10. La Cravate A Ziggy Zag

11. Chere Petite Blond

12. Cajun Crawl

13. Angela's Waltz

14. Hip Et Ti-Yeaux

15. La Belle De Bayou Teche

x

Track List: La Danse De La Vie

1. La Danse De La Vie

2. Dans Le Grand Brouillard

3. L'ouragon

4. Dis-Moi Pas

5. Jeunes Filles De La Campagne

6. La Fille De Quatorze Ans

7. Quelle Belle Vie

8. R.D. Special

9. Chanson Pour Ezra

10. Menage A Troi Reels

11. Zydeco X

12. Je Tombe Aux Genoux

13. Attrape Mes Larmes (Pour Dewey)

x

Track List: Cajun Conja

1. Sophie

2. Tortue Perdue

3. Conja (New Orleans 1786)

4. Vieux Crowley

5. Sur Le Pont Lyon

6. Cajun Telephone Stomp

7. La Nuit De Clifton Chenier (Clifton's Night)

8. Le Reel De Nez Pique

9. Ti Monde

10. Le Chanky-Chank Francais

11. La Valse De La Poussiere

12. Tasso/McGee's Reel

x

Track List: Live! From The Left Coast

1. Les Veuves De La Coulee

2. La Chanson De Mardi Gras

3. Plus Tu Tournes

4. Pine Grove Blues

5. Les Filles A Nonc Helaire

6. La Valse De Klfy

7. La Chanson Du Cafe

8. La Betaille

9. Cajun Groove (Scott Playboy Special)

10. Chez Seychelles

11. Maman Rosin Au Zydeco Bal

12. Two-Step A Will Bolfa

13. Reel De Dennis McGee

x

Track List: Allons A Layfayette & More Avec Canray Fontenot

3. Pauvre Hobo

4. Mon Vieux Wagon

5. La Jolie Blonde

6. Johnny Can't Dance

9. J'ai Marie Un Ouvrier

10. La Valse Du Vacher

11. La Table Ronde

12. Shoo, Black

14. Donnez Moi Pauline

15. Two Step A Will Balfa

16. La Valse Des Jonglemonts

17. Le Bal A Chataignier

x

Track List: Bayou Boogie

1. Zydeco Gris Gris

2. Fais Pas Ca

3. It's You I Love

4. Dimanche Apres-Midi

5. Madame Bozo

6. Kolinda

7. Maman Rosin Boudreaux

8. Chez Seychelles

9. Jongle A Moi

10. The Flame Will Never Die

11. La Valse Du Malchanceux

12. Beausoleil Boogie

x

Track List: Alligator Purse

1. Reel Cajun (451 N. St. Joseph)

2. Rouler Et Tourner

3. Carriere Zydeco

4. Little Darlin

5. Marie

6. Valse A Beausoleil

7. Bosco Stomp

8. Theogene Creole

9. I Spent All My Money Loving You

10. Les Oignons

11. The Problem

12. Alligator Purse

13. Valse A Thomas Ardoin

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Real deal!
Report as inappropriate
lakecitypest c o
Love this form of music. They're the best.
Report as inappropriate
I would like to purchase the album Beau Solbil on Cajun Conja.
Also as a kid I remember listening/wa t c h i n g the Lawerance Welk show
and enjoying very much the accordian music of Marion Floin. Could you
please make his accordian music available for purchase?
Report as inappropriate
cecile.walsh
My cousin is tthe drummer for BeauSoleil. I LOVE THIS MUSIC!!!!! All the band members are really really nice guys.
Report as inappropriate
tres, tres bien. jolie vivre bcp
Report as inappropriate
sewnsew_ssdd
Good stuff !!!

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