Nathan Abshire

The Great Cajun Accordionist

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One time through this CD and the listener will know why Nathan Abshire was called great. The accordionist, born in 1913, was a huge force in the music of his culture from the '30s until his death in 1981, and his influence continues to this day. It was he who incorporated the blues of Creole tradition into Cajun music. His signature tune, "Pine Groves Blues," was a regional hit and made an impact on every Cajun musician thereafter. The man was ahead of his time. Cajun music would not hit the mainstream scene until shortly before his death, so he never got the acclaim that was really his due. Still, listeners have his recordings. This one contains both traditional selections and those written by Abshire himself. As always, the music is meant for dancing. Abshire's virtuosity shines on "Le Two Step de l'Acadian," as well as his own "Le Two Step de Choupique." He is in turn lyrical on waltzes such as "Le Valse du Kaplan" and his " Le Valse de Bayou Teche," hard driving on "Le Blues Francais," and poignant on "Pauvre Hobo." The songs are played with all the heart and soul of the man with "the good times are killing me" as his personal motto. The CD is worthy of this giant of Cajun accordion music.

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