Cow Island Hop ( Valcour Records, 2008)
If there’s any CD out this summer that will have listeners rolling up the carpet and dancing with joyful abandon it is Feufollet’s Cow Island Hop out on Valcour Records. In the grand tradition of innovators like Michael Doucet and Zachary Richard, Feufollet has stepped up and put their unique stamp on Cajun music, playing fast and loose within the traditional without poking their Cajun forefathers in the eyes. The music is quaintly familiar with just enough of a new edge to keep the sound fresh and interesting.
Leaping headlong into "Prends Courage," Feufollet sets up a chuggy number shot through with bright guitar, fiddle and accordion. Title track "Cow Island Hop" is just as rhythmically driven, but better showcases the talents of these musicians as each member takes the lead. "Eunice Waltz" and "Blues De Dix Ans" possess a sweetly country twang that begs a sweeping turn on the dance floor. Of course nothing can beat Anna Laura Edmiston’s poignant vocals on "Chere Bebe Creole" or the French-accented "Femme L’a Dit" with its jazzy composition. Other plummy tracks include the bright sounds of "Chere Beth"and "Sur Le Bord de L’Eau." With tight, neat compositions, Cow Island Hop offers up bits of unexpected turns for a fresh sound, while still maintaining the integrity of the Cajun sound.
The talented musicians behind Feufollet are accordionist, vocalist and fiddler Chris Stafford, fiddler Chris Segura, vocalist Anna Laura Edmiston, guitarist Joshua Caffery, drummer Michael Stafford and bassist Philippe Billeaudeaux. With CDs like Feufollet, Belle Louisiane and Tout Un Beau Soir and now Cow Island Hop Cajun music has taken a leap, hop and shuffle into the future.
Feufollet’s Cow Island Hop is a perfect dance partner, so move the coffee table and and the sofa and dance, dance, dance.
Buy Cow Island Hop.
Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.