Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Road Trip Music in Louisiana

Cajun, Creole, swamp music, country, zydeco, bluegrass, Gulf coast blues and a dash now and then of other flavors make up the music of Louisiana. It’s a place that has often been a crossroads for musical travelers, and at the same time it’s a place with a deep connection to home and tradition. As the Great American Road Trip: Music travels through Louisiana, our soundtrack takes in both those ideas.

Christine Balfa, her husband Dirk Powell, her cousin Courtney Grainger, and their friend Kevin Wimmer carry forward Christine’ s family tradition in their music. Christine’s dad, Dewey Balfa is considered one of the giants of traditional Cajun music. In their own music, Christine and her band respect and share that, and mix in their own strengths to this music which often combines old French language and new country rhythms. A good place to experience the best of what they are up to in their band, which is called Balfa Toujours, is on the album Deux Voyages

Marcia Ball was born just about on the border between Texas and Louisiana, which is a fitting description of where her music has taken her as well. Piano and voice are her chosen instruments. With them she creates a mix of country, blues, rock, and Louisiana and Texas which is all Americana, at times tender, at time raucous, and always interesting. An album that’s an especially good showcase of the quiet and lively sides of her work is Blue House.

you may also wish to see
Music Road: Cinco de Mayo: music
Music Road: Road Trip Music in Virginia
Music Road: music and landscape: bluegrass, Ireland, New England

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. Stop by and see what the Library has in mind to inspire travels through Louisiana.
For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Vera Marie Badertscher said...

I love that you featured something other than jazz. I could listen to New Orleans jazz for days at a time, but I also love Cajun music. The book A Free Man of Color, chosen for A Traveler's Library road trip stop in Louisiana, frequently dwells on the rhythms of the plantation chants and a song saves the life of the hero. So it is a very musical book.

12:13 PM  

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