Joel Savoy has become a central figure in the Acadian Uprising, a second wave of young revivalists coming to the forefront of Cajun music culture in the first decade of the 21st Century. Only 30 years old, Savoy was a founding member of the Red Stick Ramblers, one of the movement’s leading bands, and in 2006, with two partners, he founded Valcour Records, which has released 15 albums, scored four Grammy nominations, and consolidated the work of the new Cajun revival’s top up-and-comers, including Feufollet, Cedric Watson, and The Pine Leaf Boys.
Since that time, Savoy also has been working with south Louisiana accordionist and singer Jesse Legé, a dyed-in-the-wool Cajun music master now in his late 50s. On this offering, the pair joins forces with Portland, Oregon-based guitarist/singer Caleb Klauder and two members of his Foghorn String Band, an aggregation that performs as the Caleb Klauder Country Band when augmented, as they are here, by drums and electric/steel guitar. Translating that band’s honky-tonk stylings to Gulf Coast Louisiana, the contingent becomes The Cajun Country Revival.
Kicking off this concise, super-charged set in classic style, this perfectly blended outfit first dips into Legé’s vast repertoire of old-time tunes, borrowing a rocking, roadhouse two-step that’s embellished with live-wire electric guitar, then segues into a 1950s country waltz made popular by Webb Pierce that has Legé and Klauder alternating verses, first in French, then in English. A Western Swing/Cajun take on “Tippy Toeing,” borrowed from Loretta Lynn, features sweetly rendered vocals by Foghorn bassist Nadine Landry, while the wistful “Debut Dans La Porte (Standing in Your Door)” comes outfitted with sleek, sliding steel-guitar pinstriping.
Meanwhile, the album’s title tune, a Porter Wagoner staple, bounces along joyfully along on a succession of delicately laced Cajun accordion runs, and the outing’s closer, a high-spirited, dance-ready version of the familiar folk tune “Corina” (also known as “Corinna, Corinna”) whole-heartedly seals the deal on this high-powered, happy-go-lucky, Cajun Country excursion.
(To download three free albums from Legé and Savoy, go to JesseAndJoel.com/JesseandJoel/Music.html.)