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Alligator Purse (avec Michael Doucet)

BeauSoleil

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Album Review

Beausoleil may be as synonymous with Cajun culture as Tasso ham, gumbo filé, and mudbugs, but the veteran shape-shifting Zydeco act is as adept at creating fusion food as it is traditional fare. Bandleader Michael Doucet's evenhanded fiddling and expressive, amiable voice lead the charge on Alligator Purse, the band's first for the Yep Roc label. Beausoleil flex their Cajun backbone on opener "Reel Cajun/452 North St. Joseph St.," one of a handful of straight-up bayou barnburners ("Carrière Zydeco," "Bosco Stomp") that are as timeless as they are electrifying, but it's the band's penchant for seamless genre-hopping that solidifies its well-deserved reputation as an American institution. Doucet and his small but formidable army's tasteful renderings of the blues ("Rouler et Tourner"), jazz ("Marie"), and old-timey country ("Little Darlin'") — the latter featuring some high and lonesome crooning from Natalie Merchant — always keep true to regional ingredients like accordion, Dixieland horns, and a steady Cajun backbeat, resulting in the kind of all-day street party that welcomes both purists and tourists with open arms, cold beer, and steaming plates of Louisiana cooking.

Biography

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...
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Alligator Purse (avec Michael Doucet), BeauSoleil
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