When it comes to toe tapping, feel good music, it’s hard to beat the Cajun melodies played by Michael Doucet and Beausoleil. On Friday night, Carolyn and I went to see the band from the bayou at TCAN, the Center for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts. Located in a converted firehouse, it is a wonderful place for a concert. It is intimate and inviting. Our seats were three rows from the stage.
We have been fans of Beausoleil since we saw them at the annual Mardi Gras ball at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI many years ago. They always put on a great show. Doucet traces his roots to southwest Louisiana, where his ancestors coalesced after they were expelled from Nova Scotia by the British more than 150 years ago.
You may have heard of the expulsion. It forms the basis of the epic poem Evangeline by Longfellow. It is a tragic story. The British went out of their way to rip husbands and wives apart and ship them off to unknown new lands. The pain and heartache of that experience is an undercurrent that still runs through much of Cajun music.
More than 40 years ago, Doucet began to archive the music he grew up with. The band grew out of that project and is named for a famous ancestor, Robert Beausoleil, who survived the long, hard road from Acadia in Nova Scotia to the bayou country of Louisiana.
Listen along to a selection of their music. If it doesn’t make you want to jump up and dance, it will at least put a smile on your face and get your feet moving a little. If you ever get a chance to see the band in person, don’t pass up the opportunity. As they say on the bayou, “Laissez les bon temps roulez!”
After an evening with Beausoleil, we wanted to hop the next flight to New Orleans. Maybe we could get there in time for brunch at the Court of Two Sisters in Le Vieux Carre, otherwise known as the French Quarter. Care to join us?