Tag Archives: music

New Orleans

New Orleans is the best-known city in Louisiana thanks to Hurricane Katrina. However, the New Orleans portrayed by the media in aftermath of the storm is not the true New Orleans. There’s a lot of grit in New Orleans, but there’s a lot of good too. I will highlight a few New Orleans staples in upcoming posts, but first I’ll give an overview of the city.

The Crescent City is loud and boisterous. It’s not ashamed of its debauchery or it’s history. Every opportunity for celebration is seized. I came across this random parade on a trip to New Orleans last year.

New Orleans is the home of many prominent Louisiana musicians including Fats Domino, The Neville Brothers, and Louis Armstrong.

You’ll hear street performers play on many of the street corners, and quite a few of them are really good. I once saw a man in New Orleans playing two guitars and a bass all at once and all in time. He’d hammer the guitar frets like he was playing a piano, and he had one guitar slung in front of him and one behind him. He played the bass with his toes. I still don’t understand how he learned how to do that.

New Orleans is home to many good eats and eclectic shops. In my opinion, I think New Orleans is the heartbeat of Louisiana. The resilience of the people of New Orleans after Katrina, and their determination to rebuild their battered city speaks a bit about the Louisiana people as a whole. We love our home and our culture.

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Zydeco

Merriam Webster defines zydeco as, “popular music of southern Louisiana that combines tunes of French origin with elements of Caribbean music and the blues and that features guitar, washboard, and accordion.” We call it chanky-chank music sometimes.

As I’ve written before, you just need to hear south Louisiana. The culture is largely spoken, not written, and the beauty of our culture is in the accents, the music, and the language. This video does a good job of explaining Cajun music, and the old man talking at the beginning is the perfect example of how the older folks in Louisiana sound.

There are other examples of Cajun musicians, including Hadley Castille, who is a fairly famous fiddler in south Louisiana.

“The Cajun music is sort of like singing the blues, dispelling the bad times for the good times.”

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