"Imagine a wide river, storm-tossed and swollen with rain, staying within the banks but cutting a deep channel. Or, imagine a vintage tube amplifier driven to its electrical limit. A Pine Leaf performance is like that."
- Josh Caffery, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
I'll kick off my prep for Festival International with a local band called the Pine Leaf Boys. These guys are all in their 20's, have been nominated for two Grammy awards, and play traditional Cajun and Creole music from Southwest Louisiana. Their list of tour dates on their website is impressive in its geographic reach, with dates this month in the UAE, Jerusalem, Jazz Fest, and of course Lafayette.
Below is a live performance with two songs from Nick Spitzer's American Routes, shot in St. Paul Minneapolis in the Fitzgerald Theater. They play Festival on Wednesday, 4/22, essentially opening up the celebration on the Scène Fais Do Do.
"The Pine Leaf Boys are steeped in tradition (singer-accordionist Wilson Savoy is the son of Cajun performer-scholars Marc and Ann Savoy) but with free-range ambitions in soul, Canned Heat-style boogie, zydeco (the country funk of black Louisiana) and Mardi Gras Indian chants. They did it all — sometimes all at once — in their Jazz Fest set with the tight, headlong delight that makes Blues de Musicien (Arhoolie), their second album, the next best thing to a Saturday night dance in Lafayette."
Rolling Stone, David Fricke