Posts Tagged ‘zydeco’

C.J. Chenier (plus Monsieur Guillaume) at Callahan’s, January 30

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Aiyeeee!!!! If you don’t get enough zydeco dancing to C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band at CMU’s “A Night of Louisiana” on Saturday night, head on over to Auburn Hills, MI, on Sunday, January 30 when C.J. plays at Callahan’s Music Hall. Callahan’s is at 2105 South Boulevard, and their phone is 248-858-9508. Callahan’s is billing this as a “Mardi Gras Tune Up Party.”

Doors open at 6:30 pm, tix are $13 to $15 (not sure of what the difference is), and show time is 8:00 pm.

As a special bonus, the local Detroit-area band Monsieur Guillaume & His Zydeco Hepcats open for monsieur Chenier. The Hepcats take the stage at 8 pm, so don’t be late!

A Night of Louisiana at Central Michigan University, January 29

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Hé toi! This Saturday, January 29 marks the 20th Anniversary of Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI’s “A Night of Louisiana.” CMU always has a Cajun and a zydeco band to celebrate the “night.” This year they’ve got C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band (zydeco) and the Lost Bayou Ramblers (Cajun) to play for your dancing pleasure.

It’s $20 admission, doors open at 6 pm, show starts at 7 pm, and tickets are available at the door. You can pre-order a Cajun dinner for $9.95. The event is in Finch Fieldhouse on the CMU campus. BTW, there is a large dance floor! (Obviously, it’s in the fieldhouse!)

In case you don’t know, C.J. Chenier (extra points for anyone who knows what the “C.J.” stands for without having to look it up) is one of the top zydeco performers of the modern time. He’s following in the footsteps of his father, Clifton, who was known as the “King of Zydeco.” C.J. started playing saxophone in his father’s band in the early 1980s, then took over on the accordion when Clifton’s health started to fail.

The Lost Bayou Ramblers are a bunch of young guys from Louisiana who sound like an old-timey Cajun band from 50 or more years ago. They play straight, traditional Cajun music.

The bottom line is, if you can’t dance to either of these bands, you’re either really, really drunk, or really, really dead!

Creole du Nord at Passport Restaurant, Ann Arbor, January 23

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

I just received an email from Mark Palms of Creole du Nord. His band (Creole du Nord) is playing at the Passport Restaurant and Lounge at 3776 S. State St. in Arbor, MI, on Sunday, January 23. Go and check it out! This is what the email said:

COME DANCE TO THE HAPPIEST MUSIC ON EARTH with “Mark Palms & Creole du Nord”! CAJUN, ZYDECO, SWING, LINE DANCE w/instruction. SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 (6-8pm) at the Passport Restaurant & Lounge, 3776 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48108.

Fun! Fun! Fun! Great exercise! Make new friends! Singles welcome! All ages welcome! “I’ve never danced before” welcome!

I must confess to never having been to the Passport Restaurant, but from their web page it looks like they specialize in international cuisine. It also appears they’re trying to have some regular dance events. So go and check it out and send me a report on the event! (I’m still under the weather and so won’t be able to attend.)

Also, just to mark your calendars, Creole du Nord is playing at The Ark in Ann Arbor on Friday, February 25.

Louisiana Dance Party–Report

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Well, 18 folks paid to get in to the Louisiana Dance Party on November 19 at the Pittsfield Grange, so I covered the hall rent, although it didn’t fully cover the cost of refreshments. Quel dommage! It seems most folks had fun dancing, though.

Dancers at the Louisiana Dance Party

Dancers at the Louisiana Dance Party, November 19

Cyndy Cleveland was kind enough to drop by and give some basic Cajun two-step and waltz dance lessons, and we even had special guests Chuck and Lorraine (formerly of Chuck’s on the Boulevard) drop by to say hi. Even better, and unexpectedly, Chuck and Lorraine brought a pot of jambalaya to share with everyone! Lagniappe!

Lorraine plays the frottoir

Lorraine plays the frottoir

Chuck, at home in the Grange's kitchen

Chuck, at home in the Grange's kitchen

I had promised cake in celebration of 10 years of Maison Bleue being together as a band, and it was a very nice marble cake from Heritage Bakery of Livonia, MI. We also had ice cream, and had a toast of 10 years down, and many more to come. Oh, yeah, did I mention Chuck and Lorraine’s delicious jambalaya? I should probably plug their excellent cookbook, n’est-pas!?

Maison Bleue's cake

Maison Bleue's 10th anniversary cake

After the intermission, we let Jeff Boerger’s “other” band, Cracklin’, take over on stage. Jeff plays guitar and fiddle in Maison Bleue, he also plays those and accordion in Cracklin’.


Cracklin' plays at the Pittsfield Grange

Of course. with Cracklin’ playing the music, some members of Maison Bleue (and Cyndy) were able to “get down” with playing Maison Bleue’s extra “noise-maker” instruments.


Kip, Cyndy, Bill, and Nina make some noise

All in all, it was a fun time. Although it is a lot of work putting on a dance at the Grange, it was nice to see several faces of folks who used to come to the Louisiana Dance Parties when we held them monthly in the early 2000s. A few of those folks admitted they missed the regular dances, so I said I will try to have them annually, perhaps every November.

(All pictures by Patricia F. Anderson. See all her pix from the Louisiana Dance Party.)

Return of the Louisiana Dance Party, November 19!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Aiyeeeeeeee! A few folks may remember when Maison Bleue played for a monthly “Louisiana Dance Party” at the Pittsfield Union Grange Hall just south of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the early 2000s. Well, in honor of the fact that Maison Bleue played their first Cajun/zydeco dance at the Grange in November of 2000, they deemed it necessary to celebrate that 10th anniversary with another Louisiana Dance Party!

Maison Bleue from 2001

Maison Bleue plays at the Pittsfield Grange on January 19, 2001

The dance is Friday, November 19 (2010), with dance lessons starting at 7:00 pm (we’ll teach you how to do a basic Cajun two-step and waltz, and a basic zydeco step–it’s easy and fun!), then Maison Bleue will play live music starting at 8:00 pm. The event runs until 11:00 pm or so. Watch for other guest musicians (and maybe local bands) to also play during the evening. There will be an intermission around 9:30 pm with (non-alcoholic) refreshments served, and yes, there will be cake! (Hopefully, with 10 candles on it.)

Fake alligators

Pet Maison Bleue's pet 'gators!

The Pittsfield Union Grange Hall is at 3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, about 1/2 mile south of I-94. Heading south from I-94, when you cross Oak Valley Drive, the road you’re on will narrow down to two lanes. The Grange is immediately on your left. It looks sort of like an old-fashioned school house. Once you pass Oak Valley Drive, if you seem to be in open country, you’ve probably gone past it. Try to find a driveway to turn around, then head back to the Grange. (Note: The Pittsfield Grange Hall is NOT to be confused with the Pittsfield Township Hall, in case you’re looking it up online!)

Garry lying down on the job

Garry at the last Louisiana Dance Party on April 16, 2004

To celebrate the 10 years of being together as a band, Maison Bleue is charging admission based on the prices from 2000. They are $6 for adults (20 years and older), $3 for teens (ages 13 to 19), and kids 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult. Please bring clean soft-soled shoes to change into for dancing to help protect the nice wooden dance floor from grit that gets tracked in with street shoes. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and prepare to have fun!

Get the flyer.

Myrick “Freeze” Guillory at The Ark, November 13

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Does anyone remember the Frog Island Music Festivals that used to happen in Frog Island park in Ypsilanti, Michigan? Does anyone remember Queen Ida? Well, if you do, there’s an event this Friday, November 13, that’s right up your bayou! The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI, is having a “Frog Island Festival Revival” featuring Myrick “Freeze” Guillory, and Myrick just happens to be the son of famous zydeco accordionist Queen Ida, so he learned his craft from a master of the zydeco craft. Also appearing is former local Ann Arbor bluesman Al Hill, who has now relocated to Nashville.

This event is a fundraiser for The Ark, and tickets are priced accordingly: $500, $250, $125, and $45. The Ark also suggests you wear your vintage Frog Island T-shirt (if you have one). For more info, call The Ark at 734-761-1800 (days) or 734-761-1818 (evenings). The Ark is located in downtown Ann Arbor at 316 S. Main St.

Cajun/zydeco music online

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Maybe you’re new to listening to Cajun and zydeco music; you don’t know what it is and want to find out. Or maybe you’re a long time fan and just want to listen to it online (since it’s rare you’ll ever hear any played on any broadcast radio stations local to you). Well, here are a couple of places to start listening.

KRVS Radio Acadie is a public broadcasting station at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA. They play a lot of different music besides CZ. You can check out their schedule for shows such as Bonjour Louisiane (Mon-Fri 5-7 am), Born on the Bayou (Sat 3-4 pm), Dimanche Matin, Dirty Rice (Wed 12-1 pm; Sat 8:30-10 pm), Lacouture Lagniappe (Tue 1-2 pm; Wed 3-4 am), Le Bal de Dimanche Apres-Midi (Sun 12-3 pm), Lousiana B Sides (Wed 1-2 am), Rendez-Vous des Cajuns (Sat 6-7:30 pm), Swamp Stomp (Sat 10-11 pm; Sun 3-4 pm), Zydeco Est Pas Sale (Sat 7 am-12 pm), and Zydeco Stomp (Sat 12-3pm). Remember that all these times are Central Time (not Eastern Time) so you may have to adjust your listening schedule! Also note that the schedule is subject to change at any time in the future.

Also, I checked the “Radio” selection under “Library” in iTunes, and then in the “Blues” section there’s a Stream called “Cajun Fest” with the Comment “Cajun, Zydeco & Bayou favorites.” Excellent! Crank it up! Better yet, find a partner and two-step and zydeco dance around your kitchen! Yes, they do play some commercials, but those are mercifully brief, and there’s no babbling DJ to listen to.

KBON 101.1 FM in Eunice, LA, is also online, but sadly now you have to join their KBON Club for $6/month (or $60/year) if you want to listen. :-( Quel dommage!

C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band at Callahan’s in Auburn Hills

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Hé toi! C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band play at Callahan’s Bar & Grill, 2105 South Blvd, Auburn Hills, MI, this Thursday, September 16.
Local band Monsieur Guillaume & His Zydeco Hepcats open for C.J. starting at 8:00 pm. For any nostalgia freaks out there, Callahan’s is in the building that was formerly Chuck’s on the Boulevard, a place where you could get some tasty Creole cooking. $10 at the door, although I heard a rumor they may have cut the price to $5. Call 248-858-9508 for more info.

Zydeco Hepcats at Mr. B’s

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Hey, you can listen to some zydeco & blues tonight (September 10) out at Mr. B’s in Troy, MI, as Monsieur Guillaume and His Zydeco Hepcats perform. They play from 10 pm to 1:30 am. I believe it is 21+ since they serve alcohol. Don’t know if there is a cover charge or not. Don’t know if the venue will allow dancing or not, either.

Mr. B’s is at 3946 Rochester Rd N in Troy, phone is 248-651-6534 if you need more info.

I had the pleasure of playing some rubboard with the Hepcats at their recent gig at the People’s Art Festival in Detroit, although sadly they have cropped me out of all their pictures on their website from that event. :-(  It’s like I never existed! :-)

Anyway, check out the Hepcats some time–they play some pretty good zydeco.

Dancing in the Streets – Report

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Well, some of us passed a good time at Dancing in Streets on Sunday. (Note: Down in Louisiana people would say they “passed a good time” instead of “had a good time” as folks would say up here in the north.) Creole du Nord played for an hour and 15 minutes, and a fair number of folks did some dancing in the streets.

Dancers dancing in the street

Dancers dancing in the street

Dancing in the streets is of course a tad more difficult than dancing in a proper dance hall since most streets have a crown (high spot down the middle, sloping down towards the curbs) for drainage, not to mention there are cracks and patches and other obstacles in the road. Yes, even the painted lines down the middle are slippery compared to the friction of asphalt. But it’s still fun to dance out in the open air to good music.

Creole du Nord

The Creole du Nord band

I have to confess this was first time I had actually heard Creole du Nord play for a dance, although I have jammed with them in the past, and they were excellent. Good, solid Cajun two-step beats, plus steady syncopated zydeco dance rhythms. Mark Palms was really getting into some zydeco accordion licks, too. I had thought that Creole du Nord mostly stuck to Cajun music, but it was a pleasant surprise to hear them play a number of zydeco tunes to mix it up.

Susan Filipiak provided some dance instruction for the Cajun and zydeco dancing, and it was doled out in small portions. She taught a basic two-step, then the band played a few tunes, then Susan taught a bit more about the dancing, then the band played, and so on. I thought that was good as sometimes when we try to teach new folks to dance we throw too much at them at once!

There was, of course, much more at Dancing in the Streets. The ballroom/swing dance area with the II-V-I Orchestra seemed particularly well attended, plus there were some folks at the contra dance area, and the Middle Eastern dance area drew a fair number of onlookers to a dance demo. I did get to see some old friends from my contra-dancing days, and who knows, I may try to do some contra-dancing again soon, although I’m sure my cranky knees would complain!