The 38th Annual Mamou Cajun Music Festival was held this past weekend (Aug. 15,2009) and Mamous’ own legend ,Steve Riley, was this years honoree. He performed for the large crowd at the Mamou Recreational Complex shortly after he was presented with his festival poster as a token of appreciation. He thanked many people who influenced his passion and love for Cajun culture, music and performing, including TJ Landreneau, Jamie Berzas and especially his family and friends. He said when he and his band, The Mamou Playboys, perform, it is so much more than just playing good music, its about proudly representing his hometown of Mamou.
This is a short pictorial dedicated to Steve Riley (and the Mamou Playboys). It does not cover the entire festival,only the honoring of Steve. All pictures were snapped by Mamou CMF staff members. The intent of this video is to honor and promote Steve as well as the Mamou Cajun Music Festival ( one of the BEST in the state). The following is what this impressive organization is all about :
The Mamou Cajun Music Festival began as a one-day festival presenting some of the local Cajun musicians to the citizens of Mamou and Evangeline Parish. It has since become what it is today, a two-day music festival, presenting traditional Cajun musicians, dancing, food, and contests. In the early 1970′s, some of the citizens of Mamou grew concerned that our culture was dying. These people felt that there was a need to renew the communities interest in our culture, thus was born the Mamou Cajun Day. In its beginning, some 20 or so volunteers presented this festival, which was then sponsored by the Mamou Area Jaycees. In the early 1980′s, this group officially became the Mamou Cajun Music Festival. On February 11, 1985, this organization gained its non-profit status as a corporation based on the premise that we would dedicate ourselves to the “preservation of our Cajun culture and heritage through our traditional Cajun music”. Our organization takes pride in the fact that we have been able to continue the traditions of our culture and have been able to provide a platform for the many traditional Cajun musicians in our area, in which they can gain exposure and compensation for their art. At the same time, this event promotes the preservation of our culture by gaining the interest of our children, the citizens of Mamou, and the many tourists who visit our festival from all over the world. All proceeds received are used to prepare and present the next annual festival to ensure our Cajun Culture lives on………. Our “Special Thanks” to all who attend and support our festival……… ….Mamou Cajun Music Festival Staff
Duration : 0:10:8
Louisiana Acadian (Cajuns) Homes
The Acadians (French: Acadiens, IPA: [akadj??]) are the descendants of the seventeenth-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in the Canadian Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and in the US state of Maine). The settlers whose descendants became Acadians did not all come from the same region in France.
In the Great Expulsion of 1755-1763, mostly during the Seven Years’ War, British colonial officers and New England legislators and militia deported more than 14,000 Acadians from the maritime region in what could be called an ethnic cleansing . Approximately one third perished. Gradually, some managed to make their way to Louisiana, creating the Cajun population and culture after mixing with others
When the Acadians first arrrived in Louisiana, some put up quick, temporary shelters made of wood and palmetto leaves. The Native Americans had been building such dwellings for years. Built upon a pole frame, palmettos would be uses on the roof (as was straw in France and Acadia). Many also used palmetto for walls until wood could be cut.
When they had the time to build a more substantial structure, they often built homes by putting wood vertically into the ground for walls. These 2nd generation Acadian homes (1766-1827) were either poteaux en terre (post in ground) or planche debout (upright planks). The easiest of the two, poteaux en terre, was to cut logs, strip off the bark, and place it in a hole in the ground. The gaps between the logs would be filled with a mud and straw/moss mixture (bousillage). If they had the time and manpower, they might cut planks from the logs and place the planks vertically in the ground (planche debout) to make the walls (again, filling the gaps with bousillage). Roofs were covered with shingles or wood. These homes were built directly on the ground.
The Acadians soon learned that to build a wooden home on the ground was not the way to go. The occasional flooding and insect damage was terrible to these kinds of homes. Upon arriving in Louisiana, they noted that Creole homes were often built off the ground. This kept the home from water & insects and helped provide better ventilation. The 3rd generation Acadian home (1790-1850) was built on pillars of wood or brick. It was small, averaging about fifteen by twenty-five feet in size. Many had galleries in front. The chimney – made of bousillage at first, later of brick – was on one end of a one-room home. Two-room homes often had the chimney in-between the rooms.
The 4th generation Acadian home (1790-1920) was often larger that previous versions. By the mid-1800s, it was the common type of Acadian house. It has a gallery (porche on the front (and sometimes the back). This served two purposes. It gave them a place to sit to cool off and to socialize. It also allowed for a taller roof to provide room for storage and sleeping quarters. There were stairs to the atttic, usually located on the inside of homes in east Acadiana and outside the homes in west Acadiana. The upstairs sleeping area for the boys was called the garçonniere. The roof was covered with wood shingles at the beginning of this time period, but these were often replaced by corrugated tin roofing later in the 1800s. As the family grew, a separate but connected building was often built to the rear for kitchenspace or a bedroom. The windows had no glass, but were covered by wooden shutters. Some had two rooms side-by-side, with a front door opening up to each. One room was the common family room and kitchen, while the other room was a bedroom for the parents and daughters. As some Acadian families grew in size and wealth, larger homes with multiple rooms would be built.
As the 20th century progressed, most Cajuns began occupying contemporary housing styles, though some still have similar features to the old Acadian homes. Though there are a few 18th century Acadian homes scattered around south Louisiana, they are disappearing. This video of still pics represents only a portion of the snapshots I have collected of old Cajun homes. If you have any old pics your are willing to share with me, please email them to email@example.com.
Duration : 0:5:9
Only in Texas. Austin, Texas to be exact.
Charles was raised in a traditional Cajun family household in Beaumont, Texas. His parents were Church Point, Louisiana natives and for their wedding celebration and dance, Iry LeJeune provided the entertainment. His parents spoke French around the house when they didn’t want the kids to understand what they were saying but the kids understood it anyway.
Charles’s late cousin, Joe Thibodeaux, owned the Rodair Club in Port Acres Texas. During his youth, he visited the legendary club on a regular basis and was influenced to play the Cajun accordion by watching Andrew Cormier and The Rambling Aces band which included Rodney LeJeune, Dallas Roy and many other famous Cajun musicians.
At age 16, a friend gave him a used accordion that had a couple of keys missing. It had tape over the holes and reeds that wouldn’t play. After saving up his money, he bought an inexpensive Hohner but got side tracked away from his music for many years. While visiting an uncle in Church Point in the early 90′s, Charles mentioned that he was shopping for an accordion. His uncle walked him through the pasture, and over to the house next door and Charles bought a Pointe Noir in the key of C from the famous accordion builder, Dick Richard. He also plays 2 Martin accordions in the keys of D and B flat.
Charles formed a traditional Cajun Band in the Spring of 2004 for a group of Mardi Gras enthusiasts and they have since, thrilled audiences throughout the State of Texas and they continue to Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler—Let the Good Times Roll in Austin!
Duration : 0:4:49
First song is “Evangeline Special” from Iry LeJune and the second song is “Jambalaya” from Jo-El Sonnier
Duration : 0:5:17
In 1956 I was a young boy,waiting outside the Joy Theater for my parents to “pick me up”,when I heard live Cajun music for the first time. I walked across the street,past Fred’s Lounge to the French Casino,and standing at the front door I heard Cyp and Adam Landreneau playing live Cajun music. I know it was them because the local taxi driver told me so (can’t remember his name). I was hooked on Cajun music from that moment on. Fifteen years later Cyp and Adam would play a couple of tunes at my wedding. The pics illustrated in this clip are of the local musicians that I was exposed to in Mamou from during the ’50′s thru the ’80′s. Not all are actually “from” Mamou but all were around and playing music in Mamou while I was growing up there. Thinking back…it was awesome. I remember as a teenager in 1964,we were gathered at my friend’s (BD Fontenot) home during a holiday season and BD decided we needed music. He left his home and rounded up the Balfa Brothers to join us and play music for our party. We “passed the hat” at the end of the night and gave the money to them in gratitude. But they hadn’t played for the money,they played simply because they and we loved it. Mamou Louisiana would later be named the CAJUN MUSIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. The musicians in this clip are responsible for that honor. There are many more not included in this video. This video is a tribute to those Cajun musicians.
Duration : 0:10:8