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1989 Dewey Balfa with Robert Jardell, Shirley Bergeron, Peter Schuate and Christine Balfa
Sat Apr 29 1989
47:07 - Audio Cassette Master; WAV and Mp3 on Server and Cloud
00:00 Introduction of Dewey Balfa and Peter Shwartz; Robert Jardell; Shirley Bergeron; Tina Balfa 02:14 Dewey expresses his appreciation to be present on the Allison Miner stage and the uniqueness of each musician there; explains Peter’s story from Germany apprenticing with Dewey 03:11 Dewey introduces old friend Robert Jardell with anecdote about Robert killing duck with a shotgun and glowing review of “the most traditional heart”of a young person of anyone he knows; Dewey says Shirley has more feeling for his music than anyone and is an award winning steel guitar player 06:33 Dewey brought up without the modern ease of technology enabling the enjoyment of music playing with fiddle and triangle after a hard day of work 07:55 Demonstration 10:35 Many styles of playing 2nd fiddle; in Cajun music the 1st fiddle plays the melody, 2nd fiddle plays the baritone below the melody; alternative style for the 2nd fiddle is beau shuffling; Dewey wants to show how the bass was done 11:42 Demonstration: “Depuis a l’age de quinze ans” 13:51 Dewey was brought up listening and learning this traditional Cajun music; late 1980’s diatonically tuned instruments were introduced to Arcadians by New Yorkers 15:14 Robert demonstrates specific ways to play the accordion; melody only and then shuffling, Dewey explains the difference as he plays 16:42 Zydeco, Cajun, Dixieland Jazz music comes from this area and Dewey welcomes questions. All of the musicians play as a “paying hobby”; Guitar was introduced to Cajun music after WW2, triangle was there since beginning 18:54 Demonstration: “My Conscious is Clear, What about Yours” or “Every Night When You Can” 25:05 Dewey explains that the Cajun “yell” comes from how motivating music is and is the only way to let out that energy 26:07 Demonstration: “Allons Danser” 29:30 Audience question “Where can you learn to play the accordion”; buy one and push and shove it until you learn, buy one at Mark Savoie’s Music Center 30:29 Dewey explains how accordions work and why they’re made the way they are; reeds and buttons 31:45 Demonstration: “Orphan Child Waltz” written by D.L. Menard 37:52 Peter responds to question: 1984 apprenticeship through the National Endowment for the Arts got him started playing music; summer program in West Virginia exists to learn about oral tradition with Dewey; the band is tuned Standard 40:10 many fiddle players have two fiddles tuned differently and switch between them 40:58 “Is Cajun music still the same style that was played in France when our ancestors left 300 years ago” Dewey replies: not totally, our Cajun music is Americanized by blues influences although older folks in northern Louisiana can still play more traditional music like from Normandie 42:20 Demonstration: “Talk to me about a little drink but never about Marriage” or “Parlez-nous a Boire”
Nick Spitzer interviewer. Dewey Balfa; Robert Jardell, Shirley Bergeron, Peter Schuate, Christine Balfa.
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New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive