Even a newborn, exiting the hospital via the elevator, is exposed to sounds piped through speakers.. unless of course you grew up in-between Houston and New Orleans, in towns like Jasper, and Eunice. While the new pavement of the divided highway 10 keeps most traffic at bay these days, only an age ago the 190 was the hot ticket into Baton Rouge and the bayou’s New Orleans. Even then, there was little music that came from machines, save the cotton carriers moseying up and down the highway stretch, the beet-belts conveying produce, the boss’ wife’s new baby blue Cadillac. Lawtell, Louisiana was one of these places, home to many bent-backed share-croppers who experienced nothing more than their body’s sounds of struggle, pain, and relaxation. The Carrière Brothers made the simple life, simply better, or so I heard.
And just in case you’re thinking, ‘this music may not be my speed,’ consider this:
“While the Carrières have drawn heavily on white traditions, and for that matter have played for white audiences with white musicians, their music remains, primarily because of rhythmical and vocal subtleties, unmistakably black.”
The Carrière Brothers could perhaps be considered the original jam band, as musicians who played perpetually through the party with half hour songs sustaining momentum through fights between Creoles, the Louisiana blacks, and Cajuns, the whites. They even played right through murder during one of their shows!
While their sounds may not harmonize with ears tuned to enjoy the modern radio-play, to the silent world of corn & cotton farming, they kicked-up one heck of a hootenanny in their day.