Homage Au Passe
Pine Leaf Boys
By James Calemine
The Pine Leaf Boys’ latest CD, Homage Au Passé, is nominated for a Grammy. However, the album does not hit the streets for another several weeks. Since Homage Au Passe (Homage To the Past) was made available on iTunes in October, that qualifies it for a nomination. The group’s second CD—Blues De Musicien—also earned them a Grammy nomination.
These young Cajuns celebrate their heritage in song. The band originated in Lafayette around 2005. Each member of the band brings his own history to the music. Singer Wilson Savoy is the son of accordionist Marc Savoy and singer/songwriter/producer Ann Savoy. Fiddler Courtney Granger stands as an in demand studio musician. Drummer Drew Simon plays a variety of instruments. Guitarist Jon Bertrand’s mercurial style augments many tones to this Cajun blend. Bassist Thomas Davis’ father, Ken, plays with the Jambalaya Cajun Band and served as a serious musical compass to his son.
The Pine Leaf Boys represent a band of ‘cultural crusaders’ in the way they carry on the old tradition of the musical vernacular. Homage Au Passe counts as the group’s third CD. The band writes new songs and employ old traditions to convey the compositions. “Festival Acadines Two Step” sounds like a jig-tune being played during a Saturday night gumbo party. “Tes Pas La Meme” carries a resonating accordion sound that conjures images of verdant green swamplands. All of these songs are sung in French...
The accordion plays a vital role in these songs, but in “Je Veux Rester Avec Toi” Bertrand’s guitar evokes a fluid rock and roll edge. “Newport Waltz” sounds like some riverboat musical psalm for an evening gathering. The Pine Leaf Boys resemble Los Lobos in the way the accordion can be incorporated into the sound and the driving rhythm that causes the feet to move. “Parlez Nous A Boire” is pure Cajun rock and roll.
“I’ll Always Take Care” closes this CD. This song plays as if it were the last tune before the end of a Friday night fish fry. The Pine Leaf Boys possess bayou water in their veins and Louisiana hot sauce in their fingers that emerges in the music of Homage Au Passe.