Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band – Sam’s Big Rooster
The Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, featuring accordionist Marc Savoy, singer/guitarist Ann Savoy and fiddler Michael Doucet, are no doubt the premier traditional Cajun band active today. This CD spotlights not only this trio’s remarkably tight interplay resulting from having played together for almost 20 years, but also their individual talents as soloists. Most of the 19 cuts were recorded by Joel Savoy in the family’s small studio near Eunice, La. but two “Live” cuts (tracks 5 & 19) are also included. Booklet includes lyrics to the songs in French and English.
1. Sam's Big Rooster - 3:59 2. Be Careful, You're Breaking My Heart - 4:18 3. Two Step Pour Milton Adams - 3:46 4. She Made Me Lose My Mind - 3:18 5. Mardi Gras Jig - 6:03 6. Duralde - 3:47 7. Les Culottes a Lollypop (Lollypop's Underwear) - 2:40 8. J.B.'s Waltz - 2:56 9. Si Tu Veux Amuser (If You Want to Have Fun) - 2:54 10. La Bonnie Vie (The Good Life) - 4:32 11. Alton's Two Step - 2:40 12. La Valse d'Evia - 4:22 13. Party Girl's Blues - 2:36 14. Jolie Bassette - 3:43 15. Doc Guidry Medley (Tit Maurice & Doc's Fiddle) - 3:33 16. Un Tramp Sur la Rue (The Tramp on the Street) - 4:53 17. Hop, Skip and Jump - 4:17 18. C'était Dessus un Triste Samedi (It Was on a Sad Saturday) - 2:15 19. Amédé Two Step - 6:40
Marc Savoy (accordion) , Ann Savoy (vocals, guitar) , Michael Doucet (fiddle)
1. Sing Out! - Tom Druckenmiller
“The Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band has stayed the course. As one of the finest traditional bands today, they have resisted the temptation to change with the times and each recording is better than its predecessor. It's been 20 years since Marc and Ann Savoy have teamed up with Michael Doucet. Marc is known as a master builder and player of Cajun boxes. Guitarist and vocalist Ann has authored the definitive tome of the Cajuns and their music "Cajun Music A Reflection Of A People" (Bluebird Press) and is a memeber of the Magnolia Sisters. Michael is the leader and chief songwriter for BeauSoleil.
But what might be a steady course to some is really a bit of an elaboration to master musicians such as the Savoys and Doucet. Through his years of playing and researching the Cajun fiddle, Michael has created a sound all his own. This style is accomplished by adding ingredients of other styles of fiddling and is instantly recognizable from the very first phase. He and Marc play so tight that sometimes it is difficult to identify the individual instruments.
It would be impossible to highlight each of the 19 tracks on this fine recording, so I will focus on the two live selections and the hauting original ballad by Ann. the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band already has a live recording in their collection, but these two dance tunes; "Mardi Gras Jig" and "Amede Two-Step" typify great Cajun dance music. Recorded in Minneapolis with Doug Lohman on bass and Paul Laughbridge on drums (from Bonetones Cajun Band) the excitement is downright contagious! The throbbing rhythm propelled by the bass and drums makes this some of the finest dance music you will ever hear, anywhere, any style, and the cuts are long enough to allow you to move the sofa and roll up the carpet. You don't even have to know how to two-step - just follow the rhythm, who knows what may happen!
"C'eait Dessus Un Triste Samedi (It Was on a Sad Saturday)" is probably the most distinctive selection on the recording. Ann's composition about Hurricane Audrey in 1957 is a stark vocal duet with Michael accompanied simply by the drone of the fiddle. It describes the unimaginable fury of the hurricane and the loss a family feels when all of their children are killed. The final stanza describes the horror of their loss "Oh, yes, my dear we were saved, but without family and with no more spirits. When God wants ot send his waters, listen, tremble, don't turn your back." It's a chilling reminder of the day to day struggle for survival on the prairies and the bayou.
The recording was made in Studio Savoire Faire near Eunice, Louisiana. It is housed in the old summer kitchen behind Marc's family home, the sight of many community music get-togethers in his youth. Marc and Ann's son Joel, who was also a guest musician-doubling fiddle with Michael on a few tunes and playing bass on most of the others, engineered it.
It's hard not to run out of superlatives when writing about the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band. the best musicians always make the music sound simple. Simple it may be to the casual listener, but there's a full collection of emotion and true family values in the music of the Louisiana prairies. Sam's Big Rooster should be an essential part of any Cajun music collection.”
2. AllMusic -Bob Gottlieb
It is because of people like this that the future of Cajun music is secure, and this is because they have built a solid foundation from the past. They have researched the past, they know the whys and "where fors" of their heritage and its music. Because this is so solidly rooted in not just the past music but the intention of the people that made the music, it becomes a bridge to the future. It is a tribute to these three musicians that this disc has a life of its own and is not just an empty technical reproduction of the traditional music. Each of these musicians has a life of his own and interests outside of this group and this is one of the forces that creates the vibrancy in this disc. Marc Savoy has been a long acknowledged master of Cajun traditions and music, particularly the accordion, and his house is famous as a site of Cajun gathering and jams. Ann Savoy has a wonderful book, Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People, is a vital part of the Magnolia Sisters, and a wonderful guitar player. Michael Doucet is one of the driving forces behind Beausoleil, and a fiddle player, who not only is considered one of the finest traditional fiddlers, but also one of the most innovative. To take a sample listen to what is done to the traditional tune by Aldus Roger, "Mardi Gras Jig," listen to the melding of tradition and innovation. A true tour de force that will leave you dancing, grinning, and marveling at the joy transmitted in the music.
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