4. Homegrown and Lowdown

– On the unpredictability in the structure of songs and the notion of “crooked” songs (meaning they drop and/or pick up beats) that gives a sense of distinctiveness, listen to Ed Poullard giving the example of a song originally called the « Elton 2-step » during a workshop at the 2008 Balfa Camp in Chicot State Park, Louisiana.

– The late fiddler Hadley Castille explains the Texas influence of the 1930s that contributed dense embellishments and fiddling acrobatics especially well exemplified by his mentor Harry Choates. Listen to:

« Dragging the Bow » (Apologies for the mistake on the song’s name in the book! p. 233)

« Hip et Taïau »

« Port Arthur Blues » (he compares Dewey Balfa’s style with Harry Choate’s in his view, without hidding his preference).

« Chère Toute-toute ».

(November 16, 2004, Opelousas)

On rural heritage among Creole musicians, benevolent societies, and the zydeco music scene of the mid-80s (among which performances of Bois Sec, Canray Fontenot, John Delafose, zydeco clubs Slim Y-Ki-Ki and Richard’s (now Zydeco Music Hall of Fame), watch Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana by Nick Spitzer (1986).

Seeking worldwide recognition is an integral part of French Louisiana musicians claims to regional identification.

In June 2012, The Pine Leaf Boys travelled to Central Asia as part of a U.S. State Department Tour. As their fiddler Courtney Granger was unable to go, Daniel Gale joined them and still occasionally fills in for Courtney. The band toured Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and has done a number of U.S. State Department tours, traveling to the Middle Eastand more recently to Turkey and neighboring countries. Watch the video that emphasizes their tremendous success and reception as rock stars in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

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