Balfa Toujours

La Pointe

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Christine Balfa, daughter of Cajun pioneer Dewey Balfa, comes up with her third album in the company of Dirk Powell's beautiful accordion playing and Kevin Wimmer's spot-on fiddle work. With the bass duties being swapped out between Mitchell Reed and Peter Schwarz (who also doubles up on fiddle on certain tracks) and family member Nelda Balfa on triangle, this is as down-home real as you can get. Recorded in Christine and Dirk's home in La Pointe, Louisiana, the music is comprised of new originals and old-time material gathered from several sources. Balfa Brothers material is trotted out ("Nonc Charlot," "La Valse de Bayou La Fourche"), along with songs that tip the regional hat to local legends like Octa Clark ("Black Top Blues," "Freight Train Blues"), Dennis McGee ("Le Reel de Courville," "Pa Janvier") and the Fontenot family ("The Freeman Fontenot Medley," "Bernadette"). Balfa's rhythm guitar work is spotless and driving, Powell's multi-instrumental work on fiddle, guitar, accordion, and banjo is diverse yet focused and both contribute authentic Cajun vocals in the native tongue that are full of wistful heartbreak and good times. Wimmer's fiddle workout on "Bernadette" once again reminds us that the fiddle can be one bluesy instrument in the right hands. An amazingly simple, unaffected, and beautiful album.

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