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SOUND OF NEW ORLEANS
Blues and Brass CDs
Gary Edwards
PO Box 770616
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 352 1303
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Kermit Venable
BeauBassin Cajun Band
SONO 1039
$15.00 + $3.00 S&H


The Songs

1. Watermelon Man
2. Hack a' Moreau
3. Soileau Two Step
4. Valse de Grand Chemin
5. Ton Papa et ta Maman M'ont Jeté Dehors
6. La Marche (Wedding March)
7. My True Love
8. Jolie Blonde
9. Back Of Town
10. Just Because Polka
11. Noel avec un Cöeur Cassé
12. Kristal Zydeco Stomp
13. Nietzsche's Waltz
14. Lonesome Prison One Step
15. Valse du Pont d'Amour
16. Big A's Two Step
17. C'est après Mouiller
18. Amédé-Choupique Two Step

The Players:
Accordion, Fiddle, Vocals- Kermit Venable
Fiddle, Vocals-Jonno Frishfberg
Bass, Background vocal - Bo Ledet
Drums- Dwight Galiano
Triangle-Becky Begnaud, Mark DiFlorio, Paul Santopadre
Acoustic Guitar- Danny Collet
Fiddles -Stephen Burkhamer
Pedal Steel Guitar- Dwight Breland
Washboard -Alcide "Big A" Babineaux
Chromatic Accordion -Amasa Miller
Electric Guitar-Richard Rowley

Cajun Music is bound by an ancient spirit. Somewhere between interlocked fiddle lines and accordion embellishments, in the spaces of silence between the notes, between the ringing tone of the 'tit fer, the triangle, there is a soulful space where musicians and listeners visit one another. This space, and the dancers and musical instruments that move around it, holds the emotional legacy of the Cajun culture. BeauBassin reaches for this space. Their instrumental lines carry the legacy forward, through laughter and heartbreak, from one night to the next.

Fifty-one year old accordionist and vocalist Kermit Venable leads BeauBassin through its diverse repertoire. A native of Acadiana, Venable is fluent in French dialects and known to many as a walking encyclopedia of Cajun songs (over 500 at last count). A local radio and TV personality, Venable has traveled to Europe to perform his music and toured Japan as part of the cast of Labor of Love, a Japanese-American musical centered on rice farming.

Fiddler and producer Jonno Frishberg approaches Cajun music from a different angle. A native of Arizona, he began his touring career as a member of The District of Columbia Youth Orchestra before moving to Louisiana, where he has worked with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and the University of Southwestern Louisiana Orchestra. A teacher as well as a student of Cajun fiddle, Frishberg has played with over a dozen Cajun artists, from BeauSoliel to Dewey Balfa. Formerly a member of Acadiana bands Zydeco Five-O, Cajun Brew and Mamou, Frishberg has recorded with Sonny Landreth, Richard Thompson, Michael Doucet, Mamou and Danny Collet & The Louisiana Swamp Cats. Most recently, Frishberg's playing accompanied the world premier of the ballet Feu Follet, a work inspired by the history of the Cajun people.

The BeauBassin lineup is completed by lifelong friends Bo Ledet on bass and vocals and Dwight Galiano on drums. Both New Orleans natives, the men share a Cajun ancestry and a budding career in Cajun music, begun several years ago with bandleader Don Duet.

BeauBassin, translated "beautiful basin," takes its name from the low, fertile area north of Lafayette, said to be the ancient river bottom of the meandering Mississippi. The region was once home to both Kermit Venable and the real life character upon which Longfellow's Evangeline is based. The area is imbued with a simple, direct spirituality, and it's from that region and the elusive, inspirational legacy of Cajun music that these traditional and original compositions are drawn.

(Todd Mouton)

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