David Doucet, guitarist for the popular Cajun band BeauSoleil, has defined a musical territory all his own on this exquisite album of traditional Cajun songs. While the guitar has long been a featured rhythm instrument in Cajun music, David has reinvented the guitar as a compelling solo voice, employing the fingerpicking style identified with folk and blues players such as Doc Watson, John Hurt and John Fahey. The result is Cajun music with an intricacy and subtle beauty that casts traditional songs such as the Balfa Brothers' "My True Love" or Dennis McGee's "Cowboy Waltz" in a stunning new light.
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In the tradition of John Fahey
, Leo Kottke
, and Doc Watson
, David Doucet makes his 1957
an intimate, sweet portrait of melody and finesse. The fingerpicking that Doucet employs is stunning but only in proportion to the melodies he tackles. This is, then, more an embrace than a display, full with the richness of Cajun traditionals that have long been the fare of Doucet's other
. The big, remarkable difference with 1957
, though, is its stripped quality, with flair and varnish totally absent so that the guitar can almost viscerally sing and weep and dance. And when that's not enough, Doucet chimes in vocally, with a tone that of course recalls his brother Michael's croon but still stands out--largely because here everything is nice and relaxed, as if happening on a long, balmy bayou afternoon. --Andrew Bartlett