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Cajun Legend!

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Album Review

With a recording career reaching the halfway point of its sixth decade, Vin Bruce deserves an album title like Cajun Legend more than just about anyone. This 20-track set features recent recordings, but only the high-fidelity recording quality betrays the vintage of these songs. The arrangements are strictly traditional, simple, small combo style, featuring acoustic guitar, electric bass, and drums alongside the essential fiddle and accordion. A few of the ballads, such as the weepy "Si Jaurais des Ailes," also feature pedal steel, which makes plain this style's connection to traditional country. (Although the popular imagination links the terms "Cajun" and "zydeco," the popular music of the French Acadians of southwestern Louisiana is its own thing, related to but dissimilar from "My Toot-Toot.") Bruce is in excellent voice throughout, with a relaxed but deep-toned delivery that recalls a French-speaking Johnny Cash, and the primarily Francophone tunes are so comfortably familiar in their Cajun-country style that it comes as a shock when Bruce slips in a verse or two of English. Graceful, elegant, and homey, this is traditional Cajun music at its purest.


Born: 25 April 1932 in Cut Off, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Born Ervin Bruce in Cut Off, LA, on April 25, 1932, Cajun singer Vin Bruce grew up in the musical environment provided by his father, whose fiddle playing for the local Cajun dances influenced Bruce to take up the guitar and write music. He honed his smooth and gentle vocal style by playing with local groups, and by the age of 18, Bruce decided to take his career solo and caught the ears of Columbia Records. He recorded a number of 78s with Columbia between 1951-1956, scoring a hit with "Dans la...
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Cajun Legend!, Vin Bruce
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