Thursday, May 5, 2016

"La Valse De Tamper Tate" - Elise Deshotel

Elise Deshotel of Mamou, Louisiana, featured a young fiddler and singer named Dewey Balfa.   With the Balfas in tow, in 1951 the group used an old Cleoma Breaux tune called "La Valse Crowley" and entitled it "La Valse De Tamper Tate" (#620) for Khoury's label.  Tamper Tate is the corrupted form of the location Tepetate; a small community near Eunice, Louisiana.  The group featured accordionist Maurice Barzas.
Ouais, tit monde, t’après me quitter, chère, 

Après me quitter pour t’en aller à Tepetate, yaille.

Eh, quoi faire toi t’est fais ça, catin, 

Te connais quoi t’après faire un erreur, yaille.

Eh, tit monde, garde t’après faire, chère, 

Te connais un jour avenir tu vas voir du regret, tit monde,

Eh, catin, tes voudrais t'en venir,

T'en venir serais trop tard pour ton erreur, yaille.
Elise Deshotel, Cleveland "Cat" Deshotel,
Atlas Fruge, unknown girl, unknown guitar,
Eldridge "Coon" Guidry

As the popularity of the accordion waned in the late '30s and early '40s, Maurice Barzas decided to hang it up. After World War II, when the accordion became more popular than ever, the Balfa Brothers came to see him one afternoon to form a band. Maurice didn't even own an accordion anymore. New ones weren't available anymore from Germany, so he borrowed one for two or three dances and then bought a used one from JM LaFleur's country store in Lawtell. The band began playing on Saturday nights at the Dixie Club in Eunice.

Yeh, my little everything, you left me, my dear,

You left me and went away to Tepetate, oh my,

Well, what are you worrying for, little doll,

You know that you made a mistake, oh my,

Well, my little everything, look at what you've done, dear,

You know one day, in the future, you're going to regret this, my little everything,

Well, little doll, you would like to come back,

You've come too late for this is your mistake, oh my.

Dewey Balfa
Later Elise Deshotel, a guitar player from Basile with his wife Ester on drums, formed a band with Dewey and Rodney Balfa and Maurice on accordion.  The group, known as Elise Deshotel and the Louisiana Rhythmaires, played around the Lake Charles and Creole area, and made three 78s at KSLO in Opelousas, all on the Khoury label.  However, on this recording, allegedly, they were done at Dewey's home and Maurice wasn't featured.

Maurice played with this group through about 1951, but also formed the Mamou Playboys during that time.   He and Vorance Barzas created the more popular version of this melody, the "Eunice Waltz".

  1. Maurice Barzas and the Original Mamou Playboys.   Liner notes.
  3. Discussions with Lyle F
  4. Lyrics by Jerry M and Herman M

Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings, Volume 1 (Arhoolie, 1995)

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