Maw-maw, ma-ma, me-me, me-maw. We who have had them cherish them. They are special. They are our matriarchs and the beating heart of our family. The archetype of the Cajun & Creole grandmother is one that is fading. Valcour's Lucius Fontenot wants to photograph and document as many as he can in the next year. Not only to create portraits that honor them but to hear their stories, which in the end are our stories. You can help with this project. Nominate your maw-maw or someone else's maw-maw by contacting Lu. Each will receive an 8x10 for their time.
LPB's Senior Producer Dorothy Kendrick wrote this guest blog post about featuring Cedric Watson on Art Rocks:
Louisiana has an abundance of talented artists and it can be very challenging deciding whom to feature on Art Rocks. When one of my colleagues suggested we do a profile on Cedric Watson, a Lafayette musician with four Grammy nominations, I was unfamiliar with the name—perhaps because I am of another generation. But when I heard him perform, recognized his accomplishments, and saw his commitment to preserving traditional Creole music; I knew I had to tell Cedric’s story.
What a treat when we finally found the opportunity to sit down for an interview! Cedric has a vibrant personality, very open and refreshingly honest. From the few hours I got to spend with Cedric, I feel Louisiana is very fortunate to have him represent us in the music world, not only because of his talent but because of his overall disposition. What an ambassador for Creole music!
Watch the full episode of Art Rocks on the LPB website.
Lomax Box Set Now Complete
Well, the day has finally come: all four CDs in our ten-year anniversary box set, I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax in the Evangeline Country have arrived! Please do yourself a favor and listen to some tracks. This project, produced by Joel Savoy and Joshua Caffery and featuring so many of Louisiana's most talented musicians, is our largest musical undertaking to date. We just can't say enough about how cool it turned out - the way these artists have taken these old recordings and given them new life. We couldn't have picked a better collection to mark our first decade of producing and promoting Louisiana music.
The full collection features 24 tracks (and maybe an extra hidden surprise) by an incredible group of musicians, including Michael Doucet, Marc Broussard, Wayne Toups, Zachary Richard, Tiffany Lamson, Steve Riley, Ann Savoy, Dirk Powell, Roddie Romero, Cedric Watson, David Greely, Joel Savoy, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Wilson Savoy, Anna Laura Edmiston, Kristi Guillory, Joshua Caffery, Claire Caffery, Barry Ancelet, Carl Brazell, Megan Brown and Aurora Nealand.
If you want to see some of this music performed live by many of the artists featured in the box set, join us at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on January 14 or 15 for a special kind of showcase. Narrated by Dr. Barry Ancelet and presented in music, story and visuals, this show will take you on a musical journey across South Louisiana as documented by Lomax in 1934.
We also got to work with some talented visual artists in putting the packaging together for the box set, including Rachel Meirs (Part One), Frederick Stivers (Part Two), Gabrielle Savoy (Part Three), and Cayla Mattea Zeek (Part Four).
Learn more about the book that inspired this project, Joshua Caffery's Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Recordings, here.
Oh, What a Silent Night
Yvette Landry is one of our favorite Acadiana musicians - she has appeared on some of our releases in the past, but you may or may not have had a chance to hear her solo work. Yvette plays soulful country music the way it is supposed to be played, and we thought her sound would lend itself greatly to a Christmas release. And with Oh, What a Silent Night, we found out we were right!
This small collection of country-style Christmas carols is available through our website only as a download. The Breaux Bridge songstress is accompanied by Richard Comeaux on the pedal steel guitar, Beau Thomas on fiddle, and Trevor Landry on drums. We hope it helps bring some beauty, soul, and even a little country blues to your holiday sound track!
But wait - there's even more music! Last month, just in time for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, we released a great folky Cajun recording with a great young Acadiana band called T'Monde, featuring Megan Brown, Kelli Jones, and Drew Simon. Bringing together influences ranging from early Country music to ancient French and Creole ballads to present day Cajun music, T’Monde plays music that is made for the ears as well as the feet. No where is this description truer than on Yesterday's Gone.
Valcour wishes you a safe and happy holiday season - and thanks for supporting us for ten years!
It’s festival time again in southwest Louisiana!
Fall is just around the corner- the mornings are getting cooler and all of Acadiana is eager to celebrate the end of summer with Festivals Acadiens et Creoles. Here at Valcour headquarters we too are ready for festival season and the inevitable winding down of the year that brings us together with friends and family for the holidays.
So much has happened this year! As I type this I’m listening to the final mixes for the fourth part of our milestone project, Rediscovering Lomax in the Evangeline Country: twenty four tracks recorded and mixed over the last 18 months featuring a very big handful of Acadiana’s finest artists. After a year and half working on it, it’s hard to believe that this project is just about wrapped up and that our tenth year in business is drawing to a close. I certainly hope you’ve all enjoyed it and I want to thank you all for your support over these last ten years- we couldn’t have gotten this far without you!
In the world of music, great masters die at ripe old ages and young superstars flame out in their twenties.
In our world – that of a very small, regionally based independent record label, you find yourself surrounded by creatives, by entrepreneurs and self-starters. Look to your left and you’ll see talented musicians doing what they do for love of the music, not for expectations of fame and fortune. Look to your right and you’ll see visual artists, designers, and managers that have donated their abilities to beautifying and promoting a sound and a culture that represents them. Eventually you’ll see momentum build and you’ll end up with a “scene”, or a cohesive movement. You’ll end up with a mass of people with great gifts to share that seem to transform and even transcend a community.
And occasionally, in the midst of that movement, a certain, rare breed of genius emerges. The person who is at once musical, artistic, and entrepreneurial. The person who helps both anchor and progress the community’s movement, if that is possible.
Lafayette is one such community and Jillian Johnson was one such genius. Last night, we lost her to a selfish, senseless act of apparently random violence.