BEAUSOLEIL
Alligator Purse CD - Yep Roc

Alligator Purse is the newest recording (of an output far too numerous to tally) from Louisiana Cajun roots purveyors BeauSoleil. And Iíd have to say itís one of the best in their three decade long career. The band are not keepers of some hallowed Cajun flame, or at least not only that. The music BeauSoleil make reveals that bandleader, vocalist and fiddle-master Michael Doucet has a restless ear, with a knack for distillation of a wide variety of roots genres, calling on his liquor subtly, and lacing his arrangements with its high-proof potency. The songs on Alligator Purse are mainly new takes on traditionals, and Doucet and his band are more than up to breathing new life into them. Not once in this setís bakerís dozen of tunes do Doucet and his band make a misstep, whether having a go at blues rocker JJ Caleís "The Problem," or threading the Cajun stomp of "Theogene Creole" with Western Swing and spicy Tex Mex. A number of guests get tapped to lend a hand, including The Hudson Valley Boys, the late jazz guitarist Artie Traum (to whom the album receives dedication), and pop-folkie John Sebastian among many others. Still, this record speaks of nothing more than BeauSoleil. In one of Alligator PurseĎs most satisfying moments, the group take on the Appalachiana of Julie Millerís "Little Darliní," which features Natalie Merchant engaging in some truly fine close harmonizing with Doucet.

By Michael Meade

rosebudus.com/beausoleil

 

 


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