Various Artists

Cajun Honky Tonk

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Cajun Honky Tonk Review

by Bruce Eder

Drawn from the vaults of the Khoury's label and its Lyric Records subsidiary, the 26 sides here date from the late 1940's and early 1950's. This is some of the best documentation available of what was a thriving music scene, spawned by the absence of younger players during the mid-1940's (they were off fighting the war), leaving the field to older musicians, who played Cajun music and found an audience in local clubs and an outlet in these two labels. Nathan Abshire's 1949 hit "Pinegrove Blues" got the ball rolling, and all of the 26 sides here (including Abshire's "Crying Pinegrove Blues") were spawned from that beginning. The sides here, in addition to Abshire's "Crying Pinegrove Blues," include various waltzes, stomps and blues laments by the Texas Melody Boys, Harry Choates ("Valse de Lake Charles," "Jolie Blon's Gone"), Floyd LeBlanc, Elise Deshotel with Dewey Balfa (his first four records), Lawrence Walker (his five earliest sides), and Shuk Richard and Marie Falcon. The focus may be history, but sound is also astonishingly good, incidentally.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Nathan Abshire 02:48 Amazon
2 Nathan Abshire 02:38 Amazon
3 Lawrence Walker 03:03 Amazon
4 Lawrence Walker 03:00 Amazon
5 Texas Melody Boys 02:08 Amazon
6 Texas Melody Boys 01:52 Amazon
7 Harry Choates 02:49 Amazon
8 Harry Choates 02:54 Amazon
9 Floyd le Blanc 02:51 Amazon
10 Floyd le Blanc 02:45 Amazon
11 Lawrence Walker 02:48 Amazon
12 Lawrence Walker 02:44 Amazon
13 Lawrence Walker 03:05 Amazon
14 Lawrence Walker 02:50 Amazon
15 Lawrence Walker 03:13 Amazon
The Musical Four Plus One 02:56 Amazon
Vincent & Cagley 02:29 Amazon
18 Dewey Balfa / Elise Deshotel 04:11 Amazon
19 Dewey Balfa / Elise Deshotel 02:52 Amazon
20 Dewey Balfa / Elise Deshotel 03:00 Amazon
21 Dewey Balfa / Elise Deshotel 03:04 Amazon
22 Marie Falcon / Shuk Richard 02:42 Amazon
23 Marie Falcon / Shuk Richard 02:47 Amazon
24 Marie Falcon / Shuk Richard 02:57 Amazon
25 Lawrence Walker 02:24 Amazon
26 Lawrence Walker 02:28 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick