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Sady Courville

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This senior Louisiana fiddler had a somewhat older brother-in-law named Dennis McGee whose star far outshone his, as McGee was possibly the most famous fiddler to emerge from the swampy Southern style. Part of McGee's fame was his style of dueting with other fiddlers, and his most frequent partner in these harmonized outings over a 60-year career span was Sady Courville. Both fiddlers had rich knowledge of the Acadian music tradition, and were already well-known players at the end of the '20s when the very first recordings in this genre were released. Courville's first recordings -- alongside McGee -- were the tunes "Madame Young" and "My Creole Sweet Mama." Despite the success of these records on jukeboxes, the fiddlers had to supplement their musical income with day job take home pay. Courville worked for a furniture store as a salesman before stepping up to opening a similar store of his own. But he kept up regular musical activities, including his own La Vielle Musique Acadienne recording for Swallow. Classic collaborations with McGee from 1929-1930 were re-released on Yazoo and repackaged again for compact disc in 1994. Courville is also heard on recordings in a variety of settings. He worked off and on with Beausoleil, and performed with both Nathan Abshire and Marc Savoy for the superb Arhoolie album Cajun Social Music. Courville was also a member of the Mamou Cajun Band with Hilbert Dies, Ambrose Thibodeaux, and Preston Manuel. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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