To put it bluntly, Jourdan Thibodeaux is a bit of an anomaly. He’d rather tell you about how he’s not a numbers type of musician than glorify his abilities. Yet the quality of his songs and sheer raw emotion has attracted such seasoned pros as Joel Savoy and Cedric Watson to his supporting squadron.
His debut album is loaded with a dozen diverse originals, no covers, all sung in Cajun French. Though the rollicking “Belle Menteuse”—the only song he plays on accordion—sounds like a relatively contemporary dancehall staple, that’s also an anomaly. Thibodeaux’s heart really lies in the roots of Cajun-Creole music. His fiddling bears Dennis McGee and Canray Fontenot influences, and songs “Cher Créole” and “T’es Pas Là” feel like they just popped out of the Fontenot canon. On the haunting “Homme Brisé,” Thibodeaux and Watson stage a mournful fiddle-accordion duel straight out of the ’20s, the only difference being it’s not on a scratchy 78.
A couple of tracks are particularly creative. “Si Je Reviens Pas,” a somber, stark ballad, is sans accordion and fiddle and closes with Savoy’s intensity-building guitar solo echoing the song’s emotion. “Blues Reconnaissant” was originally intended as a juré but when Savoy heard it, he added a trembling swampy texture to make it feel like a tribal rocker.
It’s all very honest and real, nothing is fabricated. If further proof is needed, check out “Mes Tits Cochons,” where Thibodeaux sings about his rambunctious pigs. What can be more real than that?