Alligator Purse (avec Michael Doucet)

Alligator Purse (avec Michael Doucet)

Though it began in 1975 as a scrappy revival act, Michael Doucet’s Beausoleil has since become as revered a musical institution as many of the artists whose musical traditions the group set out to preserve. Doucet and his collaborators play a highly eclectic but traditional brand of Cajun music that incorporates elements of western swing, honky-tonk, country blues, and New Orleans jazz. Since all of these forms have been influenced by, or are at least tangentially related to, the rhythms and melodies of Cajun music the fit is a relatively easy one, and though Alligator Purse, the group’s twenty-ninth full length, is arguably its most stylistically diverse to date, it always sounds effortlessly authentic, and never like an uneasy fusion of disparate styles. Doucet’s masterful lead fiddle work lends an unmistakable Cajun flavor to even Beausoleil’s most free ranging musical experiments. Indeed the numbers on Alligator Purse that see Beausoleil exploring relatively unfamiliar traditional forms, such as the pre-war country of “Little Darlin” and the thumping, near Rockabilly of “The Problem” are arguably the album’s most successful musical showcases.

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