Opelousas Waltz

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
Suppose Opelousas Waltz qualifies as a Cajun garage record since 13 tracks were literally recorded in Austin Pitre's garage, with the final five from a dance at the Silver Star five days before. Although the experience Pitre picked up recording for the local Swallow label shows -- every song here is a compact two and a half to three minutes long -- this is still Cajun music recorded without any thought of audiences outside Cajun territory. The excellent liner notes by Ann Allen Savoy really give you the context for this music: hard, hard sharecropper work during the week with making music and dancing on the weekends. There are fascinating tidbits like how the famed "fais do...
See more details below
CD
$15.35
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$16.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (5) from $9.95   
  • New (3) from $12.07   
  • Used (2) from $9.95   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
Suppose Opelousas Waltz qualifies as a Cajun garage record since 13 tracks were literally recorded in Austin Pitre's garage, with the final five from a dance at the Silver Star five days before. Although the experience Pitre picked up recording for the local Swallow label shows -- every song here is a compact two and a half to three minutes long -- this is still Cajun music recorded without any thought of audiences outside Cajun territory. The excellent liner notes by Ann Allen Savoy really give you the context for this music: hard, hard sharecropper work during the week with making music and dancing on the weekends. There are fascinating tidbits like how the famed "fais do do" -- where mothers put their children to sleep in an adjacent room and then rejoined the dance -- disappeared with a 1952 Louisiana state law barring children from anywhere alcohol was served and a few rare insights on the Cajun music scene from the woman's side. The music is classic Cajun with accordion, fiddle, guitar rhythm, and drums with the bass drum providing a foundation thump. Most of the songs are public domain, with a few Pitre originals and Clifton Chenier's genre-naming "Zydeco Sont Pas Sale" done here live with a pedal steel lead and Pitre's accordion pumping the rhythm. "Cajun Breakdown" is a fine example of the unerring swing to the music, while "Evangeline Playboys Special" shows that consistency is a virtue for Pitre. There's an evenness in the tempos and instrumental tones -- "Grand Basil" gives a good taste of how the accordion and fiddle sort of harmonize and intertwine -- and not much variation in the approach. But the execution is very pro with two-steps for slow dances and the more up-tempo material fast enough to generate dancefloor action without getting too wild. Pitre is out of the fluid, melodic accordion school and doubles on fiddle for plenty of high-pitched and sort of out of tune sawing on "Lake Arthur Stomp" and "Cheres Joues Rose." His nasal, whining voice is pretty grating, though, and while the live tracks feature more active drums, Will Balfa's abrasive fiddle detracts from the pleasant surprise of J.W. Pelsia's mellow pedal steel. There are plenty of other Cajun discs -- by the Balfa Brothers and Beausoleil or one of the Ardoin clan, to name a few -- that would make better introductions, but Opelousas Waltz is a perfectly representative slice of traditional, accordion-and-fiddle-driven Cajun music. There's not a glimmer of artifice -- Pitre's band just set up and played like they probably did the weekend before Chris Strachwitz showed up with his recording equipment and probably did the weekend after he left.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/21/1997
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • UPC: 096297045220
  • Catalog Number: 452
  • Sales rank: 265,527

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Austin Pitre Primary Artist, Fiddle, Accordion, Vocals
Preston Manuel Guitar
J.W. Pelsia Steel Guitar
James Pitre Drums
Alan Ardoin Fiddle
Technical Credits
Ann Savoy Liner Notes
Chris Strachwitz Producer, Engineer, Liner Notes
Wayne Pope Cover Design
Traditional Composer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously