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BALFA TOUJOURS "La Pointe" Rounder 1166160862

As I checked my CD collection for Cajun Bands, I realised that I didn't have anything for comparison. This is an ideal CD to get into pure Cajun music.

This was produced acoustically with some old analogue equipment in the homes of Christine Balfa and Dirk Powell, and definitely gives you the feel of the true spirit and enjoyment, in which it was played. A family history stemming back through nine generations plus, has put Balfa Toujours in the front runners of this field.

There is an effective use of the accordion on "Freight Train Blues", whereas on "Marshall's Club" a clever mix from an old Radio programme "The Basile Cajun Hour Radio Show" (presented by Christine's father, Dewey) into their new version, shows how accordion traditions don't change that much.

The fiddle work is well performed and polished on all the tracks; this is prominent in "Pa Janvier", "Nonc Charlot" and "Bernadette", which makes use of the bass fiddle. "Le Reel de Courville" is a fine example of Cajun two fiddle reel arrangements. I can't not write about how much I also enjoyed the versatility of the triangle!

The songs are a fine balance of simple stories recounted. Traditional and brilliantly self-penned works and arrangements from all members of the band make "La Pointe" an album worth listening to and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sian Phillips

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This album was reviewed in Issue 31 of The Living Tradition magazine.