note de l’editeur
My earliest memories of cajun culture came from a song celebrating it. The song wasn’t written by a Cajun or sung in French, and I’ve since learned it was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, but in time Cajun musicians have made it their own (and translated it, naturally). The song is, of course, “Jambalaya,” written by Hank Williams and released in 1952. Williams was a favorite singer of my dad’s, and I often overhead him singing it in his shop or around our house in Kentucky. The rolling green hills of the Bluegrass State are a very far cry from the bayou — and never having seen or tasted jambalaya, much less crawfish pie, filé gumbo or any other kind of gumbo — the song nonetheless stirred my childhood imagination as only music can do. As an adult, and especially since moving to Louisiana, I’ve come to love Cajun music, especially the songs sung in Cajun French. I suppose it’s the fiddle, but when listening to Cajun music, I’m often reminded of the Bluegrass music I grew up with in my home state. Music is integral to the culture of Acadiana, which makes our yearly music issue such a joy to create.
For this installment, we decided to focus on how music is being made in Acadiana. From DIY to traditional recording studios, musicians across the region are making their music in an array of genres as diverse as the methods and the people creating it.
In Acadiana, Grammy winners are ubiquitous and despite success — or in spite of it — local musicians don’t see fit to go elsewhere to make their magic. Maybe it’s all of those things Williams sang about in his since co-opted song, but both historically and today, Acadians are content to write, play and record right here at home.
Another place that’s known for its music is Austin, Texas. Be sure to check out our tour of the Texas Hill Country. We’re confident that even if you take the trip we’ve plotted out, in no time you’ll be back here having fun on the bayou.
Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor
(504) 830-7239 | Melanie@AcadianaProfile.com