Chris Miller and Bayou Roots at the 29th CFMA Music Festival, Aug. 19, 2017
After winning most of the Le Cajun awards the previous night, Chris Miller and Bayou Roots performed Saturday afternoon, Aug. 19, 2017, at the Cajun French Music Association Music Festival in the Rayne Civic Center.

Le Cajun awards went to Bayou Roots as Band of the Year, to the band’s CD “Le boute s’approche” as Best Traditional CD, to the title cut as Song of the Year, to Chris Miller as Accordionist of the Year, and to David Greely, who sings and plays fiddle on one of the CD’s cuts, as Fiddler of the Year.

Greely played with the band at the festival along with Laine Thibodeaux on steel guitar, Ray Ellender on guitar, Tim Broussard on bass, and Danny Peet on drums (with Jimmy Breaux on drums later in the set).

The CD is highly deserving of all of the awards. It includes a number of songs that are either entirely new or put new words to Cajun classics. The title cut refers to the way time seems to move faster as we get older and approach the end of life.

The title of Miller’s song “Viens avec moi aka “Woodlawn Waltz” refers to a community near Lacassine. Miller has written a song about “Grand Lac Charles” to the tune of the “Lake Charles Two-Step” and a song about loneliness living on the prairie using the melody of “Opelousas Waltz.” His blonde daughter’s marriage inspired him to write new words for “Jolie blonde,” a song he titled “Ma jolie petite fille blonde.” Miller also offers us “Braille, braille cherie,” a Cajun French version of the late Jimmy C. Newman’s country hit “Cry, Cry Darlin’”

Through spoken dialogue accompanied by a zydeco accordion, “Sayso,” another original cut, tells a charming story about how the late “Sayso” Senegal, who loved ice cream cones (un sayso de crème à la glace), acquired her nickname when she was a child.

The CD has a variety of new instrumentals, including a mazurka, an accordion solo with foot accompaniment Quebecois style, and a bounce/hop as well as a polka from Odile Falcon sung by Miller’s daughter Camryn Miller-Clements (she’s also the voice of Sayso Senegal).

Cajun classics on the CD include “Lacassine Special” (with David Greely on fiddle and vocals), “ “Crowley Two-Step,” “La valse Duralde,” and “Kaplan Waltz” performed with Tim Broussard as an accordion duet titled “Deux boîtes à Kaplan.”

There’s a previously unreleased special bonus track: fiddler Milton Vanicor singing “The 99 Year Waltz,” recorded by Chris Miller (who was on accordion) in Mr. Milton’s living room when he was 94 years old in a session of other songs that were included on the CD “Un Souvenir de Milton Vanicor.” When he sang this song at the Liberty Theater, Mr. Milton would tell the crowd that he would return to sing it when he reached 99. He died just short of his 97th birthday.

To order the CD (and to view the liner notes) or for more information, go to www.bayouroots.com/.

The civic center where the photos in this set were taken is illuminated by fluorescent lights. Since I did not want to detract from the event by using flash, I wound up having to cope with a variety of color casts produced by the notorious flicker of fluorescent lights in addition to dealing with backlighting from windows near the ceiling behind the stage. (Too late, I discovered that a firmware update for the Nikon D5 has added a flicker reduction option.)

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mobile.
28 photos · 44 views