Tuesday, May 31, 2016

And You Can Be My Cowgirl: BeauSoleil and "La Valse du Vacher"

Today's tune is La Valse du Vacher (Cowboy Waltz) by BeauSoleil. BeauSoleil was founded in 1975, released its first album in 1977 and became one of the most well-known groups playing traditional and original music in the Creole tradition of Louisiana. They have also gone beyond the traditional, incorporating rock and roll, jazz, blues, calypso and other genres. They are an extensive touring band, and they sing in both English and Colonial Louisiana French. The band takes its name from Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, who led the Acadian resistance to British deportation from Canada and led 193 exiles to safety in Louisiana. The band almost didn't come to be - Michael Doucet, one of the founders, was going to New Mexico to study Romantic Poets, but he won a Folk Arts Apprenticeship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. As he puts it: "I traded William Blake for Dewey Balfa," and he sought out every living Cajun/Creole performer to learn what he could about Cajun music and their techniques. He even encouraged some to resume performing. BeauSoleil are one of the few Creole/Cajun groups to win a Grammy. La Valse du Vacher can be found on their 1997 album The Best of Beausoleil and on their 1999 album Vintage Beausoleil.