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Beausoleil: The Best of the Crawfish Years 1985-1991

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Album Review

Beausoleil, led by fiddler and singer Michael Doucet, just about singlehandedly brought about the Cajun music renaissance in the '80s, recording several albums that simultaneously paid homage to the deepest traditions of southern Louisiana musical culture and hauled that culture into the 20th century, imbuing its two-steps, waltzes, and keening prairie French love songs with influences that included country, the blues, and rock & roll. The 17 tracks on this Rounder retrospective reveal a band coming of age, digesting their influences and developing a sound that was truly their own. Whether the music itself is tradition-oriented (like the Doucet composition "La Chanson du Cafe") or borrowed from some other tradition (like the band's wonderful rendition of Richard Thompson's "Woman or a Man," featuring Thompson himself on guitar), it always sounds just like Beausoleil. In part that's due to Doucet's good-naturedly graceless singing, but mainly it comes from the particular sense of joy and fun that they manage to bring to everything they play. Highly recommended.


Formed: New Orleans, LA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The formation of BeauSoleil, one of the best known and most highly respected cajun bands in the world, is due to fiddler Michael Doucet's desire to keep the unique southern Louisiana culture and music from extinction. But while BeauSoleil originated to help preserve his cajun musical heritage, over the years it has also been known for its innovation. They are continually adding spice from other musical genres including jazz and Caribbean. In this way, BeauSoleil keeps the music vital and contemporary....
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Beausoleil: The Best of the Crawfish Years 1985-1991, BeauSoleil
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