Category Cajun culture

HOME GROWN: From a cozy Cajun kitchen, Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy reach for Grammy gold

It started in the kitchen, like so many good things do in Louisiana. There might have been biscuits in the oven, or gumbo on the stove, or a pot of coffee or tea on the countertop. Children would float in and out, or a telephone might ring, but that was OK. This was informal, natural, […]

STILL IN ROTATION: “The Big Easy” soundtrack

[Guest post on California-based blog Midlife Mixtape (“For the years between being hip and breaking one”), March 4, 2014.] Still in Rotation is a feature that lets talented writers tell Midlife Mixtape readers about an album they discovered years ago that’s still in heavy rotation, and why it has such staying power. Ron Thibodeaux has been one […]

TWO FAMILIES, ONE HOME: An unexpected reunion, 250 years in the making

POPLAR GROVE, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA — It was approaching 9:30 in the morning, and Sara Beanlands was making her way toward the family farm. Like generations of her mother’s family before her, Sara had traveled this road all her life, but on this occasion the 32-year-old graduate student drove more slowly than usual. She hardly […]

THE FIDDLER’S FAREWELL: David Greely prepares to bid The Mamou Playboys adieu

Imagine going to a Rolling Stones show, making your way to the stage and ordering up your favorite tune from “Exile on Main Street.” Good luck with that; Mick and the boys aren’t exactly in the habit of taking requests. It’s different with Cajun music. The two-step and the waltz are cornerstones of the Cajun […]

BOOK REVIEW, “BAYOU FAREWELL”: Louisiana coastal wetlands’ disappearing act

When a writer from back East prepared to board a small plane in Houma to get a bird’s-eye view of the marshes and barrier islands of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, his guide told pilot Bruce Stamey that he intended to write a book on Louisiana’s coastal land loss. “You better hurry!” the pilot warned him. […]

BOOK REVIEW, “A GREAT AND NOBLE SCHEME”: Vive l’Acadie

For devotees of Cajun culture, books on the tragic and controversial Acadian deportation are like hot sauce. You can go almost anywhere in Louisiana and find beaucoup varieties on the shelves, but most of them just aren’t very good. Some are lackluster, adding nothing to what’s already on the plate. Others are too hot, so […]