Originally released on Swallow (6011) in 1965 and Swallow (6019) in 1974. Includes French and English translations.
Personnel: Harry Balfa, Rodney Balfa (vocals, guitar); Dewey Balfa, Will Balfa (vocals, fiddle); Burkeman Balfa (vocals, triangle); Marc Savoy (fiddle, accordion); Hadley Fontenot (accordion); Tony Balfa (drums, triangle).
Translators: Barry Jean Ancelet; Floyd Soileau; Owen Demoruelle; Ron Stanford.
If you want to go straight to the source and hear real Cajun music without any hint of crossover, look to the Balfa Brothers. Though they were a popular live attraction as early as 1948, Dewey, Will, Burke, Harry, and Rodney (with assistance from family friend Hadley Fontenot on accordion) didn't record their first LP until 1965. Their second followed a full nine years later. Both are included on this seminal Cajun disc, and the purity of the group's performances is stunning.
Theirs is an entirely acoustic sound, based on the jangling rhythm of the guitar, the sprightly tinkling of the triangle, and two wailing fiddles, alternately melancholy and joyous. Dewey Balfa, the band's de facto leader is possessed of a classic Cajun vocal style; it's frequently impossible to tell whether he's lamenting or rejoicing. The Brothers' rough-hewn, earthy feel is so captivating that the listener is drawn fully in, regardless of which way the mood swings.
Uncut (magazine) (p.79) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The constant duel between Dewey's fiddle and Harry's accordion leads the charge throughout, celebrating an oft-overlooked part of America's musical heritage."