Tuesday, February 20, 2018

"Paroi Acadia Breakdown" - Leo Soileau

Leo Soileau was one of the giant figures in Cajun music history. His early recordings from the late 1920s are both powerful and emotive, and rank among the all-time classics of Cajun music. Great contributions to his music were made by legendary Cajun musicians and singers Mayeus LaFleur and Moise Robin.2  The bandleader prided himself on his diverse repertoire that catered to the ethnically diverse audience between southwest Louisiana and east Texas.1 Acknowledging the difference between country and Cajun:

It's more music to it--to me. You can play in different keys. That French music, it's just the one...just like that rock n roll.1

In the 1935 recording was done in Chicago, IL as his Four Aces Leo with Bill ‘Dewey’ Landry on guitar, Floyd Shreve on guitar, and possibly O.P. Shreve and Johnny Roberts on either drums, bass, or rhythm guitar.  The instrumental is a slower version of the Breaux recording of "Vas Y Carrement", better known "Step It Fast". 

For unknown reasons, Decca chose to market this for the French speaking market as well as the English speakers as well.   On their original release, the song is listed as "Pario Acadia Breakdown" (a mixture of French-English title referring to Acadia Parish) and on the re-issue, they gave it a new catalog number, renaming it to "Arcadia County Breakdown".  Oddly enough, the word parish is replaced with county and Acadia is misspelled. The same was done with the records flip-side recording: "Les Blues De La Louisiane" or "Louisiana Blues" respectively. 

Rayne Tribune
Oct 29, 1937

  1. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  2. Leo Soileau - The Early Recordings of Leo Soileau CD.  Liner notes.
Release Info:
C-9975-A Les Blues De La Louisiane - Decca 17009 A Montgomery Ward M-4485
C-9988-A Paroi Acadia Breakdown - Decca 17009 B Montgomery Ward M-4485

C-9975-A Louisiana Blues - Decca 5116 A Montgomery Ward M-4485
C-9988-A Arcadia Country Breakdown - Decca 5116 B Montgomery Ward M-4485

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