Cajun interlude

Listening to the CDs that accompany American Epic, I was brought up short by “La Danseuse” by Delma Lachney & Blind Uncle Gaspard (1929)

I know that tune, I thought… it’s “Jeanine’s Dream” by the Holy Modal Rounders (Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber):

So of course I did a Google search, which landed me with this, from Last Forever’s 2013 album, No Place Like Home:

…and with a blog post from 2009 that I had forgotten (that link is worth clicking for the lyrics to “Jeanine’s Dream”). A bit more digging disclosed that the singer was Sonya Cohen, daughter of New Lost City Ramblers member John Cohen (and niece of Mike Seeger, Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger). Alas, Sonya died in 2015.

So round and round we go, rediscovering forgotten music and being whirled into explorations of Cajun music. Another that nailed me is Blind Uncle Gaspard’s Sur Le Borde De L’Eau, of which Amanda Petrusich says

Whatever he’s communicating, it’s extra musical. It’s something in the tone of his voice, the way that he’s plays the guitar. It’s extraordinarily sad. When I try to imagine the circumstances that would lead someone to sing this way, it’s devastating.

And here’s Feufollet’s updated version, as full of sadness as the original.

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