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Horace Trahan

Biography

Horace Trahan is currently lead singer and top-notch accordion player of an increasingly popular zydeco band. However, he started in the 1990s as a traditional Cajun music player and was raised in a traditional French-speaking household in Ossun, LA and heard Cajun music all his life. Cajun music fans recognize in his soulful, plaintive voice clear echoes of LeJeune and his ability to compose his own songs like “Amitie Casser” which draws on the same basic human feelings of sorrow and heartache. His zydeco novelty songs, like “High School Breakdown” and “That Butt Thing” have become regional favorites.

Growing up, Horace was more interested in rock & roll than Cajun music. Yet, by the time he turned 16 he decided he wanted to learn the accordion. His first cousin, Felix Richard, who also taught Zachary Richard to play the accordion, gave young Horace his first lessons. From Felix, he also developed a reverence for the legendary Iry Lejeune.

According to Barry Ancelet in his liner notes to Ossun Blues, Trahan’s first public performance occurred after a staff member at the Liberty Theater in Eunice heard him performing at the afternoon jam session held next door at the Jean Lafitte Acadian Culture Center. During the evening show, she persuaded Ancelet to ask Trahan to come on stage to play one song. He sang Iry’s “Viens Me Chercher”, which he learned from Felix, and performed all alone sitting in his chair with his accordion. His performance brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience, who gave him a spontaneous standing ovation.

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