Author Archives: Dan Willging

Van Broussard, The Final Curtain (CSP Records)

After 61 years of performing, though not necessarily all in swamp pop, Van Broussard finally called it quits last year. Since not all of the rest of the world got the memo, the septuagenarian went into the studio to record his final album, hence the title’s underlying message. Other than the reprisal of his biggest [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Zydeco Confessions (Louisiana Soul Records)

Ask Curley Taylor where he fits in the zydeco circuit these days and he’ll talk about being an artist having to satisfy both the local crowd and the old-school contingent on the road. So naturally, one might surmise that Zydeco Confessions would reflect that split-demographic blend but actually it’s skewed, by design, towards the younger, [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

Waylon Thibodeaux, Back in My Old Stompin’ Grounds (Rabadash Records)

With songs about Tabasco, fishing and mudbugs, Waylon Thibodeaux’s latest Cajun-country effort is bound to have widespread commercial appeal, regardless if the listener’s a Southeast Louisiana native, a first-time tourist, or even a Jayhawker in America’s heartland who’s never ventured beyond Kansas City. Yet, of this obvious hook-filled affair, nothing is as clever as “Heaven [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

Fest Focus 2014: Lil’ Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers

Several years ago, Nathan Williams stood at a crossroads of sorts, forced to chose between football and music. After a successful high-school football career that culminated as district champions his senior year, Williams thought he wanted to play college football and pursue his music education at University of Louisiana-Lafayette. But after realizing what both endeavors [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Features

Fest Focus 2014: Sweet Olive String Band

For Sweet Olive String Band’s Mike Kerwin, the summer of ’06 was particularly tough. After months of repairing his Mid-City home, Kerwin and wife Sinead finally moved back in; but nearly a year after Katrina, things were hardly normal. A sickening smell of garbage and rotting debris wafted about the air and when you looked down [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Features

Staying Alive: A Trio of Young Musicians Continue the Cajun Music Tradition

In 1962, Church Point Cajun musician Bee Cormier sprung into action after reading the back of an album jacket. A lamenting DJ had written that Cajun music would practically be extinct by the end of the 20th century because very few young people played it. Cormier devised a plan to bring a young person into [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Features

Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns, Live Like Dat!! (KC Entertainment)

It’s crazy but in the 14 years that Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns have been in existence and built cred for its live shows, the group had never released a live disc. Until now. Still, it was worth the wait a solid document of over-the-top performances with no cheesy, dubbed-in crowd effects. The group attacks [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

Sweet Maegan: Fiddler Al Berard’s Legacy Lives On

“The greatest thing about us is that we love each other so much, there are no egos,” Maegan Berard says about the mostly acoustic trio she shares with older sister Laura Huval and first cousin Calli Guidry. “We have gotten to the point where we know how to communicate with each other.” They’ve been getting [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Features

Warren Storm / Willie Tee and Cypress, Swamp Pop Jukebox (Jin Records)

From a marketing perspective, Swamp Pop Jukebox is the perfect title for Warren Storm/Willie Tee and Cypress’ latest since it captures the genre’s unending fascination with romantic nostalgia. Yet, at the same time it’s hardly a jukebox full of ubiquitous covers either, since there’s a fair portion of newer and overlooked material. Interestingly, “Teardrops Over [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

A L’Afrique, Pay Day (Fruge Records)

Christened after a Mississippi John Hurt song, A L’Afrique symbolizes a cultural bridge of sorts that was years in the making. Mark Palms, executive producer of several Joe Hall zydeco discs and biological producer of New Orleans’ singer-songwriter Natalie Mae, traveled to Ghana with multi-instrumentalist/Ghana expat Kofi Ameyaw and recorded various natives playing on drums [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews