The Essential Collection

The Essential Collection

by Belton Richard


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The Essential Collection

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/12/2005
Label: Swallow Records
UPC: 0046346611722
catalogNumber: 6117
Rank: 83623

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Belton Richard   Primary Artist,Accordion,Vocals
Rodney Miller   Steel Guitar
Vernon Bergeron   Drums
Andy Johnson   Bass
Bobby McBride   Bass
Floyd Soileau   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Tony Thibodeaux   Fiddle
Jesse Credeur   Steel Guitar
Johnny Credeur   Rhythm Guitar
Junior Martin   Steel Guitar
Allen M. Ardoin   Fiddle
Ray Lavergne   Drums

Technical Credits

Barry Jean Ancelet   Liner Notes
Belton Richard   Arranger,Composer
Floyd Soileau   Producer
Chris Soileau   Recompilation

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