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Accordion Americana introduces the Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band

June 17, 2019

[Bruce does a post, surprising Rowan! This hasn’t happened in a while. Now that I’ve published my book, I hope to talk more about my sources and inspirations.]

I’d like to recommend Accordion Americana’s article on the Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band. I had not heard of them. And they have all their music free to download on their site! We’ll play some of this on Accordion Noir Radio.Photo of band; Accordion Americana Header; and: "The Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band, a Kansas City ‘Happening’: Long ago in the 1980’s, there lived a bold band of ribald music makers who used the piano accordion as the backbone of their sound. Known as the Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band, they combined elements of bawdy, bravado and bayou and became the foremost dance band in Kansas City. The prairie folk journeyed from the city, towns and farms, near and far, to Hurricane’s in Westport, to dance and party their cares away as the band played on."


I recommend the article, and it made me ponder a number of things. I’m curious whether Richard Lucente’s “black Cajuns” quote a recent one? “The Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band follows ‘the style of black Cajuns, who call themselves Creole, which is more Rhythm and Blues oriented.'” Buckwheat Zydeco had it written into his contract that he would cancel shows (and still get paid) if any advertising or promotion appeared that used that term. He was coming out of 80s Louisiana when “Cajun culture” was being pushed by the tourist industry, and some Black Creoles felt that their own music, which may have included accordions longer (if anyone was counting), was being called an outgrowth of Cajun. Like, “when Blacks took up Cajun music they changed it and made up zydeco.” That wasn’t right.


The band’s apparent emphasis on New Orleans is interesting too. The Creole culture where zydeco was born wasn’t based in New Orleans, but more from the western and northwestern French speaking (traditionally) areas of Louisiana, and importantly stretching across the border into east Texas. Houston may be the real birthplace of zydeco, with Louisiana-born players bringing it back to Louisiana like Chicago blues. But the Louisiana tourist bureau doesn’t promote that.


The Bon Tons definitely seem to emphasize the soul and r&b arm of zydeco which brings in New Orleans (and Memphis, Chicago etc) connections. I’d like to hear a discussion amongst folks who know more about this than me. Traditional Creole music of accordion, fiddle, and triangle or washboard go back to the popular spread of the German button accordion in the 1860s. The use of scrapers are all over African diaspora accordion traditions. It was interesting to try to piece together the history and summarize it in a single chapter of my book. That and klezmer and norteña/conjunto — I told people clearly there were plenty of other references they should rely on more than me.

Book cover, with photo of well dressed couple, Cleoma Breaux with guitar and Joe Falcon on button accordion

Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People (Vol 1, 1986) by Ann Savoy (Reportedly Savoy is working on Vol 2 now.)


Ann Savoy included photos of Clifton Chenier’s first piano accordion in her book Cajun Music, a Reflection of a People (1986) (see above re: Creole/Cajun). I don’t know of another instance where the entrance of the piano keyboard into a tradition is documented like that. Chenier pretty much single handedly made piano accordion part of Creole music, followed by Buckwheat taking it up after playing organ in Chenier’s band.
There’s many more button accordion players in zydeco these days, but the style was created by taking up modern Black styles (blues and r&b) and mixing them with Creole tradition. Boo Zoo Chavis and others did that with button accordion, Chenier with piano. The Bon Ton’s seem to fit within that pretty well. 


Nowadays a lot of zydeco players have taken on rap influences too. I guess there’s debate amongst some whether this is still zydeco. It’s interesting since the form was created by incorporating old and new things together. I like that many (most?) traditions include both changes and complaining about changes. (I’ll have to talk to more people about modern Creole and zydeco music if I do a sequel to my book.)


Checking out the Bon Ton band’s records and liner notes [downloadable for free!], dang, some of their 90s records were uncensored! It’s the 2 Live Crew of zydeco. As a white guy I can’t even do the parental advisory straight: “If you be’s a snot-nose kid we gwine slap yo’ hand if you open da lid.” Looks like the records added slackness as they went. “Ain’t No Zydeco, But it’s Something Else!” (1984) seems quite tame compared to 1991’s Dirt Muffin. That’d be an interesting conversation about that shift. I’m pretty repressed, but we could probably air some of the profanity on Accordion Noir since late-night broadcasting regulations are less puritanical than in the US. I wonder though, what people would say today hearing some of their party lyrics about borderline stalking and violence against women and girls?

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-06-05: The Instrument With No Name!

June 17, 2019

contrabanda.jpg

From ten years ago, here’s another classic Accordion Noir archival episode, number 131!  At its original online home, it garnered some 12403 listens, and you can continue enjoying its squeezy sounds courtesy of the Internet Archive.  Now here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2009-06-05, Does it even need a name?

Artist – Song – Album (date) – Sources?
Sunparlour Players – Joy In What You Lack – Wave North (2009) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – http://www.sunparlourplayers.com/
Clifton Chenier – If I Ever Get Lucky – Zydeco Dynamite: Anthology (Disc 1) (1959) – Louisiana, USA – (For any doubters that you can play blues on the accordion.)
Pepe Molina – Cumbiambera – The Rough Guide to Cumbia – Colombia
Cie Montanaro – Scottish du Mali – Messatge (2002) – Paca, France – http://www.compagnie-montanaro.com/
Lubo & Kaba Horo – Kaba p.m. – Contrabanda (2008) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada / Sofia, Bulgaria – http://www.luboalexandrov.com
Joanna Moon – En Quarantaine – Vagabunda (2008) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – http://www.joanna-moon.com
Richard Bliwas – Moma – Uncovered (2009) – New York City, New York State, USA – http://www.richardbliwas.com/
17 Hippies – The Moving Song – Heimlich (2007) – Berlin, Germany – jaw harp! Isn’t this a Beatles’ song? That weird George Harrison one off Sgt. Pepper? (Within You Without You.)
Our Breakup Polka – by some band that never got to win the Grammy… (from a funky Polka ’til You Drop tin-boxed collection Rowan found at a thrift-store, that doesn’t include any info on who the artists are! What’s up with that?)
Dave “Pappy” Hamel ~ Pap and the Sidemen – Undecided – Back Here With Me (2009) – British Columbia, Canada – http://cdbaby.com/cd/pappy3
The Thin Man – Polar Bears & Lollipops – Spectres (2008) – Chicago, Illinois, USA – www. thinmansongs.com
Redboot Quartet – Grand Central Queen / Vas y Mimille – Vancouver, BC, Canada – http://www.myspace.com/redbootquartet
Alec K. Redfearn & The Eyesores – Morphine Drip – The Quiet Room (2005) – Providence, Rhode Island, USA (Home of HP Lovecraft!) – http://www.aleckredfearn.com/information.html

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This episode’s cover is: Lubo & Kaba Horo’s new album Contrabanda! http://www.luboalexandrov.com/news/?ez=en

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This is where we love to say: Please support ethical and fabulous media by becoming a member of Co-op Radio, because we love our little radio-station, and it loves us all back.

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2019-06-12: They Might Be Birthdays

June 13, 2019
AccNoir 2019-06-12: They Might Be Birthdays
Myron Floren – Disco Polka, 1977

For this week’s episode, Accordion Noir radio celebrated the birthday of its host Bruce Triggs (who has a lot to celebrate this month, and many opportunities to do so!), which just so happens to coincides with the birthday of They Might Be Giants accordionist John Linnell, who every other day of the year can play this song. Also we shared a hot new track by Matt Dallow and an historical treat exhumed from the milk crate of history… and the whole rest of the show, besides! You can listen to it online courtesy of the Internet Archive (or subscribe to the podcast over here!), and in the meantime, here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2019-06-12, They Might Be Birthdays

* Myron Floren – Clarinet Disco-Polka –  (1977) – https://youtu.be/BV-QSLvMt3g
* Matt Dallow – Tailor Made Destination (Vic Thrill Edit) – Matt_Dallow-Tailor Made Destination (Vic Thrill Edit) (2019) – https://www.facebook.com/mattdallowmusic (Matt plays accordion and theremin with the World Inferno Friendship Society)
* They Might Be Giants – Answer – Glean (2015) – http://www.theymightbegiants.com/
* They Might Be Giants – 1. They Might be Accordions – John Linnell, TMBG interview 2018-10-16 (2018) – Vancouver, BC, Canada – www.theymightbegiants.com
*  Doctor Worm – They Might Be Giants – Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants [Disc 1] (1998) 
* Alice Hall – Live Performance At Golden Hotel, Reno, Nv – Jazz Me Blues – The Alice Hall Sound: Trio, Quartet, and Live Performance. 
* Sharon Shannon – Sparky – Out The Gap (1995) – County Clare, Ireland – http://sharonshannon.com/
* Danielle Martineau – Léon (starts at :30) – Accordélidon (1998) – Quebec / Nova Scotia  Canada
* Hey, Wow – Creepy Dépanneur – 1974-1979 (2019) – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – https://www.heywow.ca
* Andy Parker and The Plainsmen (w/ Joaquin Murphy) – Sweet Georgia Brown – Joaquin Murphy Compilation – Hollywood, California, USA http://westernswing78.blogspot.com/2009/09/joaquin-murphey.html   George Bamby, acc?
* The Small Glories – Don’t Back Down – Assiniboine & The Red (2019) – Winnepeg, MB, Canada – www.TheSmallGlories.com  Shane Hayes, acc.
* Guy Klucevsek And Alan Bern – Birthdays – Accordance (2000) – Staten Island, New York State, USA – http://www.guyklucevsek.com/
* Al Scorch – Lost At Sea – Circle Round the Signs (2016) – Chicago, Illinois, USA – http://www.alscorch.com
* Gentlemen Of The Woods – My Dear Old Friend – This Great Unknown (2019) – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – https://www.gotwband.com
* Vilda – Utsjoki-disko – Vildaluodda (2019) – Finland – www.bafesfactory.fi/vilda
* Jason Webley – Dance While the Sky Crashes Down – In This Light – Live at Bear Creek (2011) – Everett, Washington, USA – Visit http://jasonwebley.bandcamp.com

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

PS, if you liked the Disco Polka, here’s some of it absurdly spliced into the 1977 footage that inspired it:

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-05-22: Accordion Patent Day, squeezable history tour!

June 10, 2019

patent.jpg

From 10 years ago, here’s Accordion Noir radio episode number 130, celebrating the 180th anniversary of the accordion’s initial patenting by Cyrill Demian.  At its original online home, it accumulated some 9275 listens, and as usual we hope that at its new online home at the Internet Archive, it continues to be enjoyed.  Here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2009-05-22, Happy Accordion Patent Day! 1829-2009, squeezable history tour!

Artist — Song – Album (Date) – sources?

* Wiener Original Schrammeln – Slibowitz-Tanz – Global Accordion – Early Recordings (1931) – Vienna, Austria
* Guido Deiro – Cavalleria Rusticana (Intermezzo) – Archeophone 5012: Guido Deiro: Complete Recorded Works, Vol 1 (1912)
* Pietro Frosini – accordion – New York blues – rag classical – Edison Diamond Disc 50454-L (1918) – Edison National Historic Site – NPS catalog # EDIS 41040
* Walter Rhodes – Leaving Home Blues – African American Accordion (1927) – Ruleville, Mississippi, USA – Compiled by Jared Snyder:
http://www.ksanti.net/free-reed/reviews/freereedjournal3.html
* Bixy Guidry & Percy Babineaux – Elle A Plurer Pour Revenir / She Cried To Come Back But She Couldn’t (1929) – Cajun – Rare & Authentic: 1929 – 1934 (It’s interesting that they stop playing to let the singer be heard.)
* Hira Malaza Taloha – Rambalamana – Global Accordion – Early Recordings (1930) – Madagascar, Africa
* Bauernkapelle Lott – Im Alpstübli – Global Accordion – Early Recordings (1934) – Switzerland
* Kamil Behounek – Moanin’ – Jazz Accordion, Vol. 1 (1936)
* Quartette Swing Emile Carrara – Le Charmeur De Serpents (1941) – Squeeze Me 2: 1938-45 Squeezin’ The Blues
* Tony Murena Et Son Ensemble – Cafe Au Lait (1943) – Squeeze Me 2: 1938-45 Squeezin’ The Blues
* Quintet Johnny Meyer – I Got Rhythm (1947) – Squeeze Me 3: 1943-53 Rebop Continental
* Gonzaguinha – Asa Branca / White Wing (1947) – Brazil Classics 3: Forró etc. – Brazilian Northeast
* Rowan Lipkovits (after Shel Silverstein) – The Mermaid
* Rowan Lipkovits – Volga Boatmen Birthday

This episode’s cover is: a portion of Cyrill Demian’s original patent application (granted May 23rd, 1829.) From the great Classical Free-Reed website: http://www.ksanti.net/free-reed/history/demian.html

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This is where we love to say: Please support ethical and fabulous media by becoming a member of Co-op Radio, because we love our little radio-station, and it loves us all back.

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir 2019-06-06: Hey, Wow Album Release And Party Announcement!

June 6, 2019
Accordion Noir 2019-06-06: with Hey, Wow!

Last night’s episode of Accordion Noir, which we may as well call “Hey, Wow Noir”, is now up online and available for your listening enjoyment at the Internet Archive or as part of the renewed Accordion Noir podcast! Bruce got an interview in with the Francophone Canadian band, and interspersed it with songs from their new album “1974-1979”, which should be out now! Its playlist follows:

Featuring Hey, Wow, all the way from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
With accordionist Jean-Marc Lalonde and guitarist Kevin Daoust.
www.heywow.ca

* Pete Jolly – Pete’s Meat – Pete Jolly Quartet, Quintet & Sextet (1956) 
* Hey, Wow – Hey, Wow Stinger – Bruce Triggs’s Album (2019)
* Hey, Wow – Fuckingment Bon – 1974-1979 (2019)
* Hey Wow – 1. The Band Hey, Wow – Hey, Wow Interview (2019)
* Hey, Wow – Catwoman, je t’aime – 1974-1979 (2019)
* Hey, Wow – 2. French Canadian Disco Reels – Hey, Wow Interview (2019)
* Hey, Wow – BEFR – 1974-1979 (2019)
* Hey, Wow – 3. Parallel dimension – Hey, Wow Interview (2019)
* Hey, Wow – Ce sont les choses plates qu’on me dit à trois heures du matin – 1974-1979 (2019)
* Hey, Wow – 4. Micing the Accordion – Hey, Wow Interview (2019)
* Hey, Wow – La goutte – 1974-1979 (2019)
* Hey, Wow – 5. Embrace the Weirdness – Hey, Wow Interview (2019)
* Hey, Wow – Ce que je ne comprends pas – 1974-1979 (2019)

And speaking of launches, as subscribers to our e-mail list will already know, Bruce has a little book launch to invite you to:

Accordion Revolution Book Launch Party

After ten years of work, Bruce Triggs invites you to be part of the Accordion Revolution Friday, June 28, 7-9 PM Squeezebox Music, Refreshments, and Live Broadcast from 8-9 PM. Also, Books, Swag, and Prizes! Join us at the Co-op Radio Station 370 Columbia St Vancouver BC

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle (which is on, gosh, tonight!)  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-05-15: What the heck is the theme of this show? Good though, eh?

June 4, 2019

bette_et_wallet

From a bit over ten years ago, here’s this week’s archival episode, number 129, of Accordion Noir radio, which we somehow neglected to unleash upon the masses yesterday as per our usual schedule.  In keeping with Bruce’s original comments about the show’s theme (or lack thereof), there’s nothing much to say about the program’s contents, except that they appear to all be awesome songs and there’s a whole show-and-a-half’s worth of them — 90 minutes!  At its original online home, it accumulated some 11376 listens, and we hope it also sees brisk trade through the investigations of online listeners at its new online home at the Internet Archive — so go give it a listen!   Here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2009-05-15, What the heck is the theme of this show? It’s good though, eh? (Sorry it took so long to post, it’s been busy and I kinda forgot it.)

Artist — Song – Album (Date) – sources?

De Amsterdam Klezmer Band – De Vuurvreter Van Sassari – De Amsterdam Klezmer Band (2003) – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – http://www.amsterdamklezmerband.nl/english/index.html
Janet Klein And Her Parlor Boys – Sous Les Toits de Paris (orig. 1930) – Paradise Wobble (2000) – Los Angeles, California, USA – http://www.janetklein.com/web/main.htm
The Thin Man – Marching Through the House of Love with Dirty Boots – Greasy Heart (2005) – Chicago, Illinois, USA – www. thinmansongs.com
The Tower of Dudes – Jr High School Man – The Tower of Dudes (2008) – Prague, Czech Republic – http://www.tod.cz
Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra – Mollendo Cafe – Victoria, BC, Canada – http://www.thetequilamockingbirdorchestra.com/
Bette & Wallet – Minister’s Daughter – Quebec / Nova Scotia
Canada – http://www.bette-wallet.com
Guro von Germeten – Circus Song – Demo CD (2008) – the Norwegian “Accordion Siren” with the Red Accordion – http://www.myspace.com/gurovongermeten
Mucca Pazza – Coat Czech – A Little Marching Band (2006) – Chicago, USA – http://www.mucca-pazza.org/
Jeff Andrews – Cambie & Cordova – Vagabonds & Wastrels (2008) – Victoria, BC, Canada – http://www.jeffandrew.ca
Dick Contino – Lady of Spain – Legends of the Accordion
The Carnivaleros – Dyin’s – Happy Homestead (2009) – Tucson, Arizona, USA – http://www.carnivaleros.com/index.html
The Rats And People – Mines And Pantries – The City Of Passersby (2007) – St. Louis, Missouri, USA – http://theratsandpeople.com/
Bette & Wallet – Squeegees – Quebec / Nova Scotia
Canada – http://www.bette-wallet.com
Tequila mockingbird Orchestra – Lock All My Love – Victoria, BC, Canada – http://www.thetequilamockingbirdorchestra.com/
Guignol – Salt Chunk Mary Fight Song – Guignol (2004) – Brooklyn, New York (USA) – Franz Nicolay played accordion on this! http://www.franznicolay.com/index.html
The Weather Station – Nothing I’ve Seen (Tamara Lindeman, acc.) – The Line (2009) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – http://www.myspace.com/theweatherstationband
Janet Klein And Her Parlor Boys – Fairy On The Clock (orig. 1929) – Put A Flavor To Love (2002) – – http://www.janetklein.com/web/main.htm

This episode’s cover is: Bette & Wallet

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This is where we love to say: Please support ethical and fabulous media by becoming a member of Co-op Radio, because we love our little radio-station, and it loves us all back.

CFRO Co-op Radio in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2019-05-29: Last Days Springing

May 29, 2019
AccNoir 2019-05-29

The summer is just about upon us and here we are still unfashionably slinging our spring squeezeboxes, protected against inclement weather with bright yellow rubberized flaps. Time to break out the Spandex beach-accordion slings! … but I digress. Here’s this week’s episode of the fabulous Accordion Noir radio program, exploring the theme of Springtime by playing songs from Finland, Argentina, Louisiana and Mexico as though they had anything to do with each other! Well, they do have one common link… anyhow, it’s been a big week for us, what with getting our podcast reinstated and being immortalized on Wikipedia, sharing another hour of sweet squeezebox music atop the hundreds already on tap (another few dozen recovered from the dustbins of history this week!) is a nice way of icing that cake. Speaking of which… well, there’s more squeezy news ahead. But don’t let us get ahead of ourselves! You can enjoy listening to this week’s episode online courtesy of the Internet Archive, and to help you get sorted… here’s its playlist:

* Maria Kalaniemi – Vårens Väna Grönska Går (Suvitunnelma) – Vilda Rosor (2010) – Finland – www.aitorecords.comhttp://www.mariakalaniemi.com/  (“Someday My Prince Will Come”?)
* Anne-Mari Kivimäki – Ajettih Da Tsiganaiset – Ilja (2018) – Finland – www.AnneMariKivimaki.fi   (“Maid On The Shore” ?)
* Ami Saraiya and The Outcome – I’m Pregnant – Soundproof Box (2012) (2012) – Chicago, Illinois, USA – http://amisaraiyaandtheoutcome.bandcamp.com
* Allison Lupton – Lost Jimmy Whelan – Words Of Love (2019) – Ontario, Canada – AllisonLupton.com  Richard Arrowsmith, melodeon
* Freeman Dre And The Kitchen Party – Let’s Take The Show On The Road – Red Door 2nd Floor (2010) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada  – www.theDakotaTavern.com
* J.P Jofre – Milongon – Hard Tango – Argentina, New York – JPJOfre.com  
* Elfen – A La Court – March Glas (2016) – Cardiff, Wales – http://elfen.bandcamp.com  Stacey Blythe, acc.
* Lost Bayou Ramblers – Hot Shoes – Bayou Perdu (2005) – Louisiana, USA – http://lostbayouramblers.bandcamp.com
* El Gran Silencio – Flow connection – Comunicaflow (Underground) (0) – Monterrey, Nuevo León, México – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Gran_Silencio
* Bill Haley & the Four Aces of Western Swing – Four Leaf Clover Blues – From Western Swing To R-O-C-K (1): Rocket 88 (1948) – Bill was from Michigan and grew up in Delaware – http://www.propermusic.com/  Al Constantine, acc.
* This Way To The Egress – Devil’s Breath – Great Balancing Act (2014) – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA – http://thiswaytotheegress.com
* Jordi Rosen – Voisin – Madame Xavier (2001) – Montréal, Québec, Canada –   http://www.myspace.com/jordirosen
* Jason Webley – From the Morning – In This Light – Live at Bear Creek (2011) – Everett, Washington, USA – Visit http://jasonwebley.bandcamp.com

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!