The Acadien Cajun Band at The Rosendale Cafe

Last Saturday night the Acadien Cajun Band returned to The Rosendale Cafe for what was their second time playing there. The first song the band played stirred something inside of me, just as the first song the band played the last time they were at the cafe did. Both times I felt excited, happy, and content. Those are reactions I experience whenever I see a band that has real Cajun soul, and the Acadien Cajun Band certainly does.

The band played one long two and a half hour set that helped to ward off winter for a little bit — if only by one day — and both my heart and feet were warm from the music and dancing, respectively. The waitresses weaved in and out of the two-steppers, doing their own sort of dance. The crowd showed their joy through shouts and claps during songs and, well, shouted and clapped in-between songs also. Playing along with the Acadien Band line-up of Ryan Simon on accordion, fiddle, and vocals, Brandon Moreau on fiddle and vocals, and Jay Miller on drums was Drew Simon of The Pine Leaf Boys (who happens to be Ryan’s brother) on guitar, accordion, and vocals. Filling in for usual Acadien guitarist Joe Romero, Drew fit seamlessly into the band. If I didn’t know otherwise I would think he’s a regular member.

There’s something about the music of the Acadien Cajun Band that really speaks to my heart. Or maybe it’s because the musicians put so much heart into their music that I’m drawn in… Whatever the reason, the music makes me feel full of life. Excercise releases endorphins so maybe it was dancing that boosted my mood as well, but there wasn’t a face in the cafe that wasn’t smiling — not even those of the non-dancing folk — so there must be more to it than that. In fact, it was the people who weren’t dancing that kept up the clapping during the songs. Shortly after the start of the band’s set Ryan switched from accordion to fiddle, and along with Brandon’s playing created double fiddle bliss. Later in the set Drew switched from guitar to accordion, at which point Ryan switched to guitar.

As the evening wore on more and more people got up to dance,  their self-consciousness dissolved by the infectious energy of the band. Both the music and dancing got progressively more exciting as the night went on, and time flew by as fast as Brandon’s fingers on the fiddle, Ryan’s on the accordion, Drew’s on the guitar, and Jay’s hands with his drum brushes. I knew I would have fun, and the concert was just what I needed for my impending winter blues. Speaking of winter, more places should host Cajun bands like the Acadien during that season. The venues would cut back considerably on heating bills due to increased room temperature from the dancing!




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