Jesse Lege and Joel Savoy at The Rosendale Cafe

It seems like Jesse Lege is everywhere these days… He’s a Cajun accordionist and singer who has played with multiple bands over the course of his career (30+ years so far). He currently resides in the Hudson Valley, and has been playing in the area a lot lately. Jesse played with The Red Stick Ramblers at The Rosendale Theatre a few months ago, he sat in with The Pine Leaf Boys when they played at The Rosendale Cafe a few weeks ago, although I didn’t make it to Greyfox this year, some friends of mine went and told me that he was playing with The Red Stick Ramblers there as well, AND Jesse played a show at The Rosendale Cafe last Thursday night with Joel Savoy. (Interestingly enough, Joel Savoy used to be in The Red Stick Ramblers).

Thursday’s concert wasn’t scheduled until recently. Joel Savoy was passing through the area, so he and Jesse decided to do a show together. Joel comes from a family of great musicians (ever heard of The Savoy Family Band? If not, check out their music). He’s an incredible fiddler, but the focus of the concert was mainly on Jesse Lege. I’ve enjoyed seeing Jesse Lege in the past, but until Thursday I had only seen him sit in with other bands. Maybe that’s the problem… Although I enjoy hearing him play with bands I love, when he plays with his own band and/or has guest musicians play with him, it seems like he just kinds of sits there and gets stuck in a musical rut. Cajun music is fun and exciting! This concert wasn’t.

As at The Pine Leaf Boys concert, all the tables at The Rosendale Cafe got pushed to the sides of the room in order to form a dance space. Quite a few dancers were there, although they were a considerably less lively crowd than those who showed up for The Pine Leaf Boys. That might also be part of the reason why the concert wasn’t as good as it could have been… The musician’s didn’t have the energy of the crowd to feed off of. Sometimes the audience really can make or break a show. In this case, they certainly didn’t make it, so… You can’t blame the musicians’ lack of energy entirely on the crowd though. You just have to push yourself to play the best you can, even when the crowd isn’t responsive. With all due respect, Joel Savoy seemed content to just sit there not putting his all into his playing, and Jesse Lege’s playing got boring after a while. There’s so much good music to heard that I don’t have time for mediocrity. If, however, the opportunity arises to see them again somewhere down the line, I will give them a second chance.

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