Acadien Cajun Band at the Rosendale Cafe

I’ve said it of the Pine Leaf Boys and I’ll say it again, this time of their kindred musical spirits the Acadien Cajun Band — great Cajun music just makes you feel good!!! As Jay Miller, the drummer of Acadien, said about a song they sang called Drunkard’s Blues, “We play the blues in order to avoid them!”

The Acadien Cajun Band played at the Rosendale Cafe on Saturday, and I had been looking forward to the show for a while. I wasn’t disappointed. The band is currently Ryan Simon on accordion and vocals, Brandon Moreau on fiddle and vocals, Joe Romero on guitar and vocals, Jay Miller on drums and vocals, and Dwayne Michaud (who wasn’t at the show on Saturday) on bass. Ryan started the band along with Dwayne back in 2000, and past members include Drew Simon and Jon Bertrand of the Pine Leaf Boys, Ben Andrus, and D’Jalma Garnier. The band is more than just kindred spirits with the Pine Leaf Boys, but kindred in a genetic way as well: Ryan is Drew Simon’s brother, and Jay is Blake Miller’s first cousin (Blake used to play with the Pine Leaf Boys but is now with Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole). Er, Cedric Watson actually used to be in the Pine Leaf Boys too, just to mention. I don’t believe he’s ever played with the Acadien Cajun Band, although it’s a possibility since he and Brandon are good friends… Brandon is also friends with Courtney Granger, who took the place of Cedric in the Pine Leaf Boys. Heck, everyone is friends with everyone else, and many of them have lived and/or played together at one point or another. Maybe they should all just combine forces and form a fifteen piece band called the Acadien Pine Watson Creole Band. They might have trouble finding a venue big enough to hold all of them and an audience though…

Playing music isn’t a career choice for the guys of Acadien; it’s a part of their being, and a way of life. You can tell, because every note they play and every word they sing has a genuine ring to it, something which sure is hard to find these days. The look on Ryan’s face as he played was one of immense love and passion for his heritage (in between the grins he exchanged with the other band members during songs, that is). The evening had a laid back feeling, and the guys played completely acoustic at the cafe, with no mics being used for either vocals or instruments. Jamming, the way they said they learned how to play in the first place. Jay and Joe, who were both wearing sandals, kicked off their shoes in favor of being barefoot, Brandon sat out a couple of songs in order to two-step, and the band joked throughout the concert, saying things like “The more you dance the better we sound, and the more we drink, the better we sound!” They really are some of the most down-to-earth, friendly guys, and enjoyed talking to the crowd after the show.  After nearly everyone had gone, Brandon sat down and started playing his fiddle again. Like I said, it’s a way of life for the band, and their love for the music they play is both evident and infectious. I can’t help but smile when I think about the show, even now! The band said they hope to be back at the cafe sometime in the future, and I would highly recommend going to see them. You can either go to the movies, or support great live music. Me? I’d chooser the latter any day, especially if it’s the Acadien Cajun Band. You’re not going to find musicians much more authentic than them, folks.



Big Boy Waltz


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