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BeauSoleil

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Lafayette LA, United States (1975 – present)

BeauSoleil is a musical group specializing in Cajun music. Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, the group members are brothers Michael Doucet (fiddle, vocals) and David Doucet (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Breaux (accordion), Billy Ware (percussion), Tommy Alesi (percussion), and Al Tharp (bass, fiddle).

Founded in 1975, BeauSoleil (often billed as “BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet”) released its first album in 1977 and became one of the most well-known bands performing traditional and original music rooted in the folk tunes of the Creole and Cajun people of Louisiana. BeauSoleil tours extensively in the U.S. and internationally. While its repertoire includes hundreds of traditional Cajun and Zydeco songs, BeauSoleil has also pushed past constraints of purely traditional instrumentation, rhythm, and lyrics of Louisiana folk music, incorporating elements of rock-and-roll, jazz, blues, calypso, and other genres in original compositions and reworkings of traditional tunes. Lyrics on BeauSoleil recordings are sung in English or Cajun French (and sometimes both in one song). Many BeauSoleil critics argue that the band has “watered down” Cajun music, and added unnecessary elements that present an incorrect picture of what Cajun music really sounds like.

According to the band’s web site, BeauSoleil’s musicians “take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of Zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical recipe.”

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