Cafes, roadhouses, community parks, Bourbon Street clubs, street corners, craft festivals, jam sessions where anyone can participate right along side the region's masters -- Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz. I returned to Louisiana for the music. Can't get enough of the music in this part of our country...and the dancers, the characters, the groupies, the instruments, the beats, the pure foot-tapping joyful experience.
I had heard stories about the Savoy family and had been told about Marc Savoy's exquisite accordions, made by hand in Eunice. As he was returning it to the case, I asked this accordionist if I could see it. Rather THEM. The guy had one in the key of C and another in the key of G!
And here's where they're made.
I'd like you to meet Vergie. She's 86, has her nails and hair done every Friday, wears rings on every finger and hasn't washed a dish in over 60 years. She starts her Saturdays attending the music "demonstration" at the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center. Then she moves next door to the Liberty Theater for its live radio broadcast, and finally ends the day at Bubba Frey's joint on the highway outside Crowley. Because my Saturday mirrored hers, I kept running into her and ended up joining her and two other women at the table for old biddies at Bubba's.
Bubba likes chickens -- they're everywhere!!
And here's Miss Claudia again. Sheesh, that woman is busy. And skinny!
The players at Bubba's included this master fiddler who flirted outrageously with Vergie. Then, in the hope of passing his craft on to another generation, the master took the girl's little hand in his and held it while the bow glided across the strings so she could "feel" the music the fiddle made. Unfortunately that sweet moment is hidden by the little girl's body because of my lousy camera angle. It was nevertheless a touching moment, ending an already-memorable evening at Bubba's.
Breaux Bridge, on Bayou Teche, is home to Cafe des Amis. If a strong, zesty, energetic beat gets your mojo going and your feet tapping, then Zydeco is the music for you, and Zydeco Breakfast at Cafe des Amis is the place to be on a Saturday morning. Doors open at 7:30 AM; the band plays for three hours; the dance floor is ... well, it's somewhere there between the tables and chairs!
This Cafe des Amis regular did not sit out one single dance. Mostly he just stood in one place, shuffled his feet once in awhile and sort of swayed to the beat while his partners did the struttin' stuff!