Cajun by predilection but not by birth, Ann Savoy and Jane Vidrine, who perform as the Magnolia Sisters, show their love for their adoptive culture in this recording of traditional Cajun tunes. Prends Courage translates as "Take Courage," and these songs offer words of encouragement from the culture from which they sprang. Both artists perform with their husbands' bands. In Prends Courage, they shine on their own. Ann Savoy, who married Cajun musician Marc Savoy, has done tremendous research in Acadiana, cataloging literally thousands of photographs and stories of the people who settled in the bayou country of southwest Louisiana. She speaks and sings with the authority of her extensive knowledge of the culture. Her diligence on their behalf has won her the acceptance of the people of Acadiana. The Magnolia Sisters are joined by three other musicians: Deborah Helen Viator, Tina Pilone, and Lisa McCauley. Together, they present a decidedly feminine perspective to the music of southwest Louisiana. There are waltzes, two-steps, and lullabys sung in beautiful harmonies, accompanied by guitar and fiddle, accordion and triangle. The songs are diverse in tone, from humorous to melancholy. They tell stories, such as "Sept Ans Sur Mer" and "Les Fils a Noc Hilaire." There are dance tunes, such as "La Valse de Grande Piniere" and "Grand Nuit Special." There are also well-known songs such as "'Tit Monde" and obscure ones, like "Sur La Bord de L'Eau." All are vibrant and heartfelt. They accomplish what their title suggests: they strengthen the heart.
AllMusic Review by Rose of Sharon Witmer