Joel Martin and the Family Band, L’Ange de la Chapelle (Independent)

sept 09 reviews joel martinThe Pine Leaf Boys’ Wilson Savoy and Lafayette Rhythm Devils’ Blake Miller aren’t the only hot shots to hail from accordionbuilding lineage. Meet Joel Martin, the 22-year-old grandson of accordion builder Junior Martin, who, on his debut disc, establishes that he belongs in the elite class of accordionists. He plays with plenty of feeling, pops with enthusiasm and exhibits steady timing in between tricky trills and intricate grace notes. Instead of the typical accordion-fiddle interplay, most of the interaction heard here is between Martin and his grandfather, who freely swap rides on accordion and steel. Though most of this disc consists of beautiful renditions of timeless classics, Martin and co-writer Johnny Alan could walk away with the Cajun French Music Association Cajun Song of the Year with “L’Ange de la Chapelle.” So much for the bar scene on this one; here the protagonist meets his angeliclooking paramour at church and that’s something sure to tug at the cockles of the Cajun heart.