Various Artists

Allons en Louisiane: The Rounder Records Guide to Cajun Music, Zydeco & South Louisiana

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Quite a package from our lads at Rounder, particularly producer Steve Billington, who assembled it. There are two discs in the case, one being a traditional audio compilation CD, the other being a dual-format CD-ROM containing a nifty interactive guide to southern Louisiana, Cajun music, and Cajun culture. Interesting locales are featured, there are two cooking videos, and a pair of dance tutorials, plus mini-bios of many Cajun and Zydeco artists. Fascinating stuff that provides a small window into what appears to be an alternate reality. The compilation CD is drawn from Rounder's catalog, and features some excellent selections -- there are some expected selections at hand ("Bon Temps Rouler," anybody?), along with unexpected twists, such as the mean blues slink of "Going To The Country" from Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. If you're looking for a place to start on Cajun/Zydeco, this is a good one.

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