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A Trip to the Holiday Lounge

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Album Review

Charivari are one of the more traditional Cajun bands playing now, but with a thicker production than the fully nostalgic groups (the Hackberry Ramblers, for example). Indeed, A Trip to the Holiday Lounge confirms their place and style. Their instruments are relatively tightly packed; the scratchiness that's such a feature of Cajun recordings is nonexistent. The sounds on this album are based in more traditional aesthetics, but with some updating courtesy of the group. The Holiday Lounge is an old club in Louisiana dear to the hearts of the bandmembers, and they pay tribute to it with their playing. While the songs are sung in an older style, with a little bit of a nasal quality, the instruments are used in more modern forms: more sophisticated counterpoints, more interlocking pieces, more bass. The stars of the album, despite excellent performances all around from the band, are Randy Vidrine and Jonno Frishberg, whose vocals carry the emotion of heartbreak as well as any of the old-timers. The songs are largely not new in ideas, and other bands can pull off similar execution of this type of music. Here though, Charivari have managed to put together the emotion of the classics and the performance aesthetics of modern Cajun music, making an entirely listenable whole.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

Taking their name from an ancient Louisiana tradition of all-night partying, Charivari plays a youthfully charged, emotionally vibrant brand of Cajun music. Endorsed by such New Orleans legends as Michael Doucet and Sam Broussard, Charivari is considered to be one of the premier Cajun groups performing in 2000. Rounder Records released a number of their albums in the '90s, then...
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A Trip to the Holiday Lounge, Charivari
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