This set has most of the post-World War II recordings of Lawrence Walker. I think anyone who enjoys Cajun music will appreciate these songs due to the tightness of the bands and the marvelous playing and singing. Walker could really write and deliver a song! Unlucky Waltz is just unforgettable with it's line "C'est ça la valse j'veux Dick me joue, that's the waltz I want Dick to play for me," knowing that he is referring to Dick Richard, the man playing steel guitar on the song!
The few post-World War II official recordings that are missing from this collection are from the Khoury label: 607b Ton Papa Ta Mama M'a Jeté Dehor, 616b Bosco Stomp, 617b Lafayette Two Step, 648a Waltz of Regret, and 648b Brunette Two Step. (Lafayette Two Step and Brunette Two Step are remakes of Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux's Allons à Lafayette and Les Fille à Nonc Helaire, and Ton Papa M'a Jeté Dehor comes from the repertoire of Mayeuse Lafleur and Leo Soileau. Bosco Stomp, a remake of Delin T. Guillory and Lewis Lafleur's Quelq'un est Jaloux, is a well-loved standard showpiece, common to the repertoire of Walker's contemporary and rival, Octa Clark. Bosco Stomp can be heard on Arhoolie lp Cajun Honky Tonk, cd 427. I believe Walker also recorded Mamou Two Step later again for La Louisianne because the version on my La Louisianne lp sounds better and more up to date (A Tribute to the Late Great Lawrence Walker on La Louisianne).
The liner notes by producer Floyd Soileau fill in the blanks in our sketchy knowledge of when and where these songs were recorded. Especially welcome are the singles from the La Louisianne (sic) label recorded in 1961. These were unavailable before on CD, lost to more than a generation of Cajun music fans and upcoming musicians, but still well known among the dancers in the dancehalls of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.
On some cuts, the band (Wandering Aces) has a great steel guitar, some scorching fiddle and a tight drum. On others you hear a string bass and twin fiddles playing in a modern style. All very enjoyable! Thanks for putting this out after such a long wait!
Lawrence Walker was an important musician and bandleader in the field of Cajun music. He, along with Nathan Abshire, Aldus Roger, and Austin Pitre, was responsible for moving the accordion from the early style of playing to the dancehall sound of the post war era. Walker also was an extremely talented songwriter who contributed such classics as "Johnny Can't Dance" and "Tit Yeaux Noir" (both included here) to the reportoire. Walker did two pre-war sessions that have been released elsewhere (on JSP and CMF). This cd collects what must be the bulk (if not all) of his post war recordings for Swallow, LaLouisianne, and the Khoury labels. Walker did not record under the best conditions so some of the cuts are a little rough to listen to. But never mind, here we have a genius at work. If you enjoy good waltz and two step, done Cajun style, you will enjoy this cd.