Ryan Simon and the Acadien Cajun Band, CD Release, Liberty Theater, Dec. 2, 2017
Ryan Simon and the Acadien Cajun Band played songs from their new CD, “Rodailler,” along with other classics from their wide repertoire during their performance Dec. 2, 2017, at the Liberty Theater.

The title cut of the CD is an appealing, bouncy tune that I’ve never heard before. It was recorded by Cliff Lemaire and the Kaplan Swingmasters, a group from the late 1940s. (According to what I’ve read, “rodailler” is the Vermilion Parish pronunciation of “roulailler”—to run around, gad about, gallivant.) The liner notes have the words to the song.

The CD also features of variety of excellent but mostly less well known Cajun songs: “La valse de Chataignier” (Austin Pitre), “Le sud de la Louisiane” (Alex Broussard), :”Tous les soirs” (Dulas Landry), Merle Haggard’s “It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)” in French, “Alleman Waltz” (Leeman Prejean and Dalton Alleman), “Assi dans la fenêtre de ma chambre” (Blind Uncle Gaspard), “Dinga Ding Ding Dong” (Aldus Roger), “Roseland Two Step” (Floyd LeBlanc).

In addition, Ryan offers us four original compositions: “Judice One Step,” “Opus Two Step”(Opus Lane runs by the house in Judice where the CD was recorded that once belonged to Ryan’s great aunt), “TGramp”(Ryan’s great-grandfather—this is a fiddle instrumental with an old timey sound: words spoken by Ryan’s late grandfather open the number), “Je sera en esperant.”

When he emcees the Liberty show, Ryan often tells a joke in French. The CD includes four cuts in which he tells stories in the tradition of Marion Marcotte, with a guitar playing in the background: “The Helicopter,” in which we find out how far a man will go to get a free helicopter ride, “The Lawyer and the Poor,” about an attorney who finds a way to be charitable while also taking care of the tall grass at his home, “The Religious Mule,” about the importance of giving the right (and righteous) command at the right time to a mule once owned by a priest, and shorter jokes in “Arguing with Kids” about how to get into heaven, whether the story of Jonah and the whale is believable, what God looks like, and why a boy kissed a girl. Ryan told the first three stories at the Liberty performance.

In addition to Ryan Simon on accordion, fiddle, guitar, triangle and vocals, musicians on the CD include Mitch Schexnyder, fiddle, steel guitar, acoustic dobro and vocals; Chad Huval, electric and upright acoustic bass; Joe Romero, acoustic guitar and accordion; Larry Comeaux, drums. At the Liberty, in addition to Simon and Schexnyder, the band included Ganey Arsement on bass and Cody LaFleur on drums. Ray Landry hosted the show.

For more about the band and the new cd, go to www.acadiencajunband.com/.

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.
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