Thanks to Dewey Balfa’s profound analogy, Cajun music is often viewed as roots and branches, where a branch later becomes a root of a future branch. The Mid-City Aces, a trio consisting of Gina Forsyth and the father-and-son tandem of Michael and Cameron Dupuy, could be viewed as a branch stemming from Bruce Daigrepont; both Forsyth and Mike have a long musical association with the New Orleans accordionist/vocalist.
Yet stylistically, the trio forges its own path. Eighteen-year-old Cameron has no weaknesses on the loud little box, playing with precision, impeccable timing and finesse. Since Mike plays acoustic guitar “chunk style” (muting barre chords), his steady pulsing rhythms eliminate the need for bass and drums. Forsyth’s sublime bowing is often lyrical and sometimes ferocious.
Even though there’s an adherence to tradition, there’s also subtle innovation here. “Allons à Lafayette” is rendered in G as originally recorded by Joe Falcon, not the oft-heard key of C as popularized by Aldus Roger. Forsyth’s “Breaux Bridge Hot Step” contains a minor chord, a rarity for Cajun music. “Sidney Brown Special” seamlessly melds Brown’s “Fond d’ Culotte Two-Step” and an enchanting, unnamed melody of Forsyth’s.
Of the selections, Forsyth emotes on five while Mike Dupuy wraps his pipes around four more. His tender performance of “Pardon Waltz” is so moving, it leads to one of those “aha” realizations that this music is beautiful to the bone.