Album Remarks & Appraisals:
BeauSoleil is the most well-known band performing music derived from the Cajun culture of Louisiana. With flavors of jazz, blues and rock and roll, the band's crossgenre appeal and instrumental prowess have earned them fans across the roots music world. Their debut album for Compass Records - From BAMAKO TO CARENCRO - takes its name from the cultural connection between Bamako, in Mali, West Africa, and Louisiana, symbolized in name by the Lafayette, LA suburb of Carencro. Featured on the album are band members Michael Doucet (fiddle and lead vocals), David Doucet (guitar and vocals), Billy Ware (percussion) and Tommy Alissi (drums) and Mitchell Reed (bass and fiddle). Guests Jessie Lége (button accordion), Cory Ledet (piano accordion), and special guest, multi-instrumentalist Don Vappe (acoustic bass, electric bass, electric guitar, mandolin) round out the mix. The new album includes the celebrated Cajun/Creole-rooted music the band is known for, but also includes some notable jazz, blues and R&B elements. Standout tracks include the Roswell Rudd composition "Bamako", a haunting and hypnotic Michael Doucet original entitled "Carenco", a Cajun swing version of Coltrane's "Bessie's Blues" and a surprising cover of James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy." "Port Arthur Two-Step" features a duet between Michael Doucet and brother David Doucet, and band bassist and 2nd fiddler Mitchell Reed contributes the infectious "Creole Jig." The album was recorded at the legendary Dockside Studios in Maurice, LA and mixed at Compass Sound Studio in Nashville, TN.
Hauntingly beautiful rhythms, toe-tapping delights, and, as always, excellent musicianship are neatly wound into this swampy jazz/rock/polka/blues/two-step/creole fusion of high-energy bliss. Their version of Roswell Rudd's Bamako is assuredly an instant classic with every player getting the opportunity to show off just a little bit. There are updated jewels of Canray Fontenot and Dennis McGee tunes that has to have them both Cajun dancing in their graves! Add to the mix some "traditional" songs Michael unearthed in his quest to salvage the emotion, beauty, and dignity of his ancestors work and this is a must-have.
Personnel: Michael Doucet (vocals, mandolin, fiddle); David Doucet (vocals, guitar, ukulele); Mitchell Reed (banjo, fiddle, acoustic bass, electric bass); Tommy Alesi (drums, drum); Billy Ware (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Jim Cooley .
Recording information: Dockside Recording Studio, Maurice, LA.
Photographer: Rick Olivier.
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