From Southampton, Hampshire, England, the Flatville Aces are Britain’s best exponents of Cajun-flavoured roots dance music. They formed in the late 80s and use French vocals with Louisiana styled Cajun fiddle and accordion. Originally comprising Tim Beckerleg (accordion), Dylan Clarke (acoustic bass/vocals), Jock Tyldesley (fiddle/vocals), Judi Wright (triangle/fiddle/vocals) and Dave Curtis (acoustic guitar), the group specialised in faithful but highly energised versions of Cajun standards such as ‘Lacassine Special’, ‘Madelaine’ and ‘Bosco Stomp’, prompting enthusiastic reviews from specialist music magazines as well as more mainstream sources. Following the band’s growing success Wright branched out as a specialist Cajun fiddler, working with the Bluebird Cajun Band and the all-women Kitchen Girls. Clarke left to join his brother in local rivals La Cucina and was replaced by Don Oeters. Dave Curtis also left, to become a carpenter, and Bob Still replaced him on guitar. An independently released cassette of the group’s recordings pre-empted their debut CD release in 1994, which demonstrated the fidelity of their approach: ‘It’s very important if you’re playing a traditional kind of music to learn it absolutely inside out before you start to change it. Then you’ve got more chance of changing it with a respect to that music.’ Having researched legends such as the Balfa Brothers, Dennis McGee and Nathan Abshire, Crawfishtrombones became a key release in the unlikely resurgence of UK interest in Cajun music during the early 90s.
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