Belton Richard – The Essential Cajun Music Collection


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SKU: 046346611722 Categories: , Tags: , ,


Release Date:  2005

Label:  Swallow Records


Track List

1 A Fool’s Waltz
2 La Valse De Cankton
3 Juste Un Reve
4 Give Me Another Chance
5 La Valse D’ennui
6 Il Fait Chaud
7 Let Me Talk To Your Heart
8 Musician’s Paradise
9 A Baby Again
10 I’ll Be Lonely
11 Pardon Waltz
12 Mother’s Bouquet
13 Wild Side Of Life
14 Mom And Dad’s Waltz
15 Waltz of No Return
16 I Don’t Want You Anymore
17 Oh Yea Yi
18 Bosco Stomp
19 Drunkard’s Waltz
20 Cajun Streak
21 I’ll Have To Forget You
22 Un Autre Soir D’ennui
23 You’re So Easy To Love



A solid 23-track compilation of classic traditional Cajun music, The Essential Collection is a fine overview of the first half of Belton Richard’s career. Covering material from his early-’60s singles to his 1987 retirement (a break that proved to last less than a decade before he returned to recording and live performance), this non-chronological set is also a handy history of the changes that took place in Cajun music during this period, in no small part due to the singer/songwriter/accordionist’s efforts. The earlier songs, like “Drunkard’s Waltz,” are acoustic tunes based on traditional folk forms, but as the years progressed, Richard added electric instruments (his band the Musical Aces were supposedly the first major Cajun band to include an electric bass guitar instead of the traditional standup acoustic, which some die-hard Cajun music fans considered a betrayal on the scale of Bob Dylan going electric at Newport), introduced elements from other forms of Southern music such as blues and Western swing (the Musical Aces were also one of the first Cajun bands to include a full-time pedal steel player), and flirted with pop. The oddest of these excursions is 1975’s “The Cajun Streak,” a strange but delightful Cajun rendition of Ray Stevens’ novelty hit, complete with French vocals (for some reason, the female “Look at that, look at that!” refrain becomes “Boogitty, boogitty!”) and a two-step beat. That lovably goofy aberration aside, this is a truly excellent representation of an important musical career.

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