Amédé Ardoin – The Roots Of Zydeco:”I’m Never Comin’ Back”

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Description

Release Date:  1995

Label:  Arhoolie Records

 

Track List

New Orleans – 1930
1 Amadie Two Step
2 La Valse A Austin Ardoin
3 Blues De Basile
4 La Valse A Thomas Ardoin
5 Two Step D’Elton
6 La Valse De Gueydan
7 Valse A Alice Poulard
8 One Step D’Oberlin
9 Valse De Opelousas
10 One Step Des Chameaux
San Antonio – 1934
11 Les Blues De Voyage
12 La Valse De Amities
13 Les Blues De Crowley
14 Oberlin
New York City – 1934
15 Tostape De Jennings
16 Le Midland Two Step
17 La Valse Des Chantiers Petroliperes
18 Valse Brunette
19 Tortope D’Osrun
20 La Valse Du Ballard
21 La Turtape De Saroied
22 Valse De La Pointe D’Eglise
23 Les Blues De La Prison
24 Valse De Mon Vieux Village
25 Si Dur D’Etre Seul
26 Aimez-Moi Ce Soir

 

Personnel

  • Amede Ardoin – vocals, accordion
  • Dennis McGee – fiddle tracks 1-14

 

Notes

Amédé Ardoin is to zydeco music as Robert Johnson is to the blues and Buddy Bolden is to jazz. Like Johnson and Bolden, Ardoin not only died under still mysterious conditions, but also shares the potency of their musical influence, having laid the foundation for southwest Louisiana’s zydeco music.

The first Creole to be recorded, Ardoin is best remembered for his resonating, high-pitched vocals and sizzling-hot accordion playing. Although he only recorded 31 tunes, his compositions have been included in the repertoire of Cajun and zydeco bands ranging from Austin Pitre and Dewey Balfa to Beausoleil and C.J. Chenier. Iry LeJeune helped to launch a revival in Cajun music in the 1950s, when he recorded 12 of Ardoin’s tunes.

The great-grandson of a slave, Ardoin moved, as a child, with his family to work on the Rougeau farm in L’Anse des Rougeau near Basile. While there, he frequented the homes of his friends Adam Fontenot, who played accordion and was later the father of fiddler Canray Fontenot, and Alphonse LaFleur, who played fiddle. Together with LaFleur or Douglas Bellard, a black fiddler from Bellaire Cove, Ardoin became a frequent performer at dances, playing mostly for white audiences who paid him $2.50 per night.

In his teens, Ardoin moved frequently, working for room and board. For a while, he worked as a sharecropper on Oscar Comeaux’s farm near Chataignier. While there, he met Dennis McGee, a white fiddler from Eunice. One of the first biracial Cajun duos, Ardoin and McGee began to play at house parties, often attended by Ardoin’s cousin, Bois-Sec Ardoin. When Comeaux sold the farm, the two musicians moved to Eunice, where they worked at Celestin Marcantel’s farm. A lover of music, Marcantel often transported Ardoin and McGee to performances in his horse-drawn buggy.

Ardoin and McGee’s recording debut came on December 9, 1929, when they cut seven tunes at a studio in New Orleans. They returned to the studio to record six songs on November 20 and 21, 1930. On August 8, 1934, they recorded six tunes at the Texas Hotel in San Antonio. Their fourth and final recording session, recorded at a New York studio on December 22, 1934, produced 12 new tunes. Their recordings were issued on the Brunswick, Vocalion, Decca, Melotone, and Bluebird labels.

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