Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Step It Fast" - Nathan Abshire

Nathan Abshire was one of the finest Cajun musicians to emerge in the years following World War II. Deeply influenced by the Creole musician Amede Ardoin, Abshire's best recordings are in the blues idiom. This collection brings together recordings from the 1950s at the height of the Cajun accordion revival. This is dance-hall music, brash and beautiful, and almost defiantly Cajun.  'Ernest' listed would be Ernest Thibodeaux, Nathan's guitarist.   He had sang on several of Nathan's recordings.  Here, they covered the Breaux Brother's "Vas Y Carrément (Step It Fast)", a tune which the Segura Brothers wrote about a fictional pimp and his ladies of the night.

T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,

D’la bouillie, d’la peau de lapin,

T’en as eu, mais  t’en eu plus,

C’est la fille à Tante Aline,

T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,

D’la bouillie, d’la peau de lapin,

T’en as eu, mais t’en as plus,
C’est etait pour moi.

Ahhh! C’est la peau de lapin.

T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,
D’la bouillie, d’la peau de lapin,
T’en as eu, mais  t’en eu plus,
J’etait chasse la fillle à Tante Aline,
T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,
T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,
Tout ça qui reste c’est tout pour moi.

T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,
D’la bouillie, d’la peau de lapin,
T’en as eu, mais  t’en eu plus,
J’etait chasse la fillle à Tante Aline,
T’en as eu, mais t’en eu plus,
Tout ça qui reste tout pour moi, mais malheurese.

Nathan Abshire
He attempted to write lyrics to this fast-paced tune, creating one of the most difficult Cajun tunes to sing! A frantic tune, it would leave most dancers exhausted. However, instead about a fictional pimp, Nathan's song is about cooking food and explaining to someone "You've had some, the rest is for me". Afterwards, the tune would be recorded by many local Cajun musicians.

You've had some, well, you want more,

Of boiled rabbit skins,

You've had some, well, you've had more,

She's the daughter of Aunt Aline.

You've had some, well, you want more,

Of boiled rabbit skins,

You've had some, well, you want more,
It's all for me.

You've had some, well, you want more,
Of boiled rabbit skins,
You've had some, well, you want more,
I'm chasing the daughter of Aunt Aline.
You've had some, well, you want more,
You've had some, well, you want more,
All the rest, it's all for me.

You've had some, well, you want more,
Of boiled rabbit skins,
You've had some, well, you want more,
I'm chasing the daughter of Aunt Aline.
You've had some, well, you want more,
All the rest, it's all for me, oh well.

It was one of Virgil Bozman's last recordings he pressed for Nathan.   By this point, Bozman was outsourcing his O.T. record production by mailing his masters to Stephen Shaw and George Weitlauf in Cincinatti, OH.  George Weitlauf was a mechanical engineer who designed equipment and directed projects for several large companies in the first half of the 20th century. Their plant had the typical "waves" logo on the label.  

When Shaw opened in 1949 there were very few record pressing plants in the United States. The only other one in Cincinnati was King's and at that time they exclusively pressed their own product. Shaw was unique in the mid-west and was immediately successful. In September 1951, just as the company was hitting it's stride, tragedy struck as George Weitlauf suffered a heart attack and passed away at the age of 61. His wife, Ann, managed to keep the business stable and growing for a few more years but then sales began to decline. In 1955, Carl Burkhardt made a serious effort to hire away many of Shaw's employees to work at his new pressing operation.1




  1. http://www.45rpmrecords.com/date_shaw.php
  2. Lyrics by Jerry M
Find:
Nathan Abshire & the Pine Grove Boys - French Blues (Arhoolie, 1993)

1 comment:

  1. I think "bouille" in the song is referring to Cajun custard.
    The line would translate as "Some bouille, some rabbit skin" instead of "boiled rabbit skin"

    ReplyDelete

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