Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music
by Todd Mouton; Foreword by David Fricke
Winner of the Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Regional (Adult Non-Fiction).
Winner of the Gold Medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards for the "South: Non-Fiction" category.
"...vigorously researched and intimately reported...Way Down in Louisiana is as dynamic as the records and performances Mouton describes...a rare immersion in the personal lives of the working musicians in this singular America."
-David Fricke, Rolling Stone
"If you're a fan of Creole or Cajun music, this will be your bible. Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music is an insider's look at the music that made Louisiana famous. ... The pictures alone will keep you enthralled for hours. But the stories will keep you coming back again and again to baptize yourself in Louisiana's spicy watering holes with the help of the itinerant musical evangelists who made Louisiana music a world-wide ministry."
-Grant Britt, No Depression
This book is about the mysteries of the soul--and the magic born when you make music from your heart. With Clifton Chenier's amazing life and career as the centerpiece, this collection of profiles, complete with 130 photographs, gathered across two decades unites some of the world's most innovative creative forces.
The propulsive, soulful sounds of Buckwheat Zydeco, the virtuosic blues-rock of Sonny Landreth, and the accordion-and-fiddle-driven bayou backbeat of BeauSoleil were all birthed in Cajun and Creole country, a place where tradition and innovation rub against one another from the kitchen to the festival stage.
Singer-songwriter, poet, and activist Zachary Richard; traditionalists-turned-innovators Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys; and cross-genre artists Roddie Romero & The Hub City All-Stars are among the many gifted players spearheading their cultures' ongoing reinventions. In words, images, and music, the lives of these artists and culture-bearers speak volumes about the power of identity, influence, perserverance, and triumph. From Lil' Band O' Gold to Bonsoir, Catin and beyond, these artists make music that resonates in the hearts of listeners everywhere.
About the Author
Todd Mouton has worked for more than twenty years as a writer, non-profit arts executive, and producer of concerts, events, records, and radio programs. Mouton and his work have received a Louisiana Governor's Arts Award and recognition from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He's widely known as a passionate advocate for the artists and cultures of his home state.
Softcover, 312 pp., ©2015