The Huval-Fuselier Cajun Trio formed when the distance between Lafayette-based teenagers Zach Fuselier and Huval brothers Phillip and Luke became too impractical to gig regularly with New Orleans accordionist Cameron Dupuy as Huval, Dupuy & Fuselier. Since then, Luke has developed into a peppy and precise accordionist with enough chops to tackle meaty tunes (“Amede Two Step”) and drive them into the ground. With his sweet, lyrical tone, Fuselier is among the upper echelon of Cajun fiddlers.
The proceedings are threaded with three concurrent themes, the first being the royal glove treatment given to the traditional tunes “Les Veuves de la Coulee,” and “Grand Texas.” Belton Richard’s “I Don’t Want You Anymore” is as robust as it can be for a smaller aggregation, replete with a grandiose flair.
The second is the trio’s association with nonagenarian fiddler Milton Vanicor, former Iry LeJeune sideman, which accounts for the three LeJeune classics heard here. On the rollicking “Bosco Blues,” Fuselier makes sure to include Vanicor’s repurposed Jimmie Rodgers line “Because I can get more women than a passenger train can haul,” which still gets great crowd response.
Lastly, the trio shows how it injects ingenuity into the tradition, as evidenced by “You Are My Sunshine.” It’s first sung in English, then bounces into Cajun French and finishes in English capped by Huval blood harmonies, making it the first rendition of its kind. A Cajunized hillbilly tune of Cleoma Breaux’s, “Long Lonesome Road,” is also resurrected and features splendid flat-picking by recording engineer Joel Savoy.
But wait, there’s more. On the album’s lone original, Luke leads the way on a beautiful fiddle duet, “La Valse a Luke.” Impressive stuff, indeed.