Saturday, May 7, 2011

More Cajun Country

I know there are some places that are made for the tourists, but when you're in cajun country some places, even the touristy places, are a must, such as....

Mulates Cajun Restaurant. The orginal opened in Beaux Bridge, but they also have restaurants in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Food is cajun and good, but very pricey. But you go for the experience.
They have cajun music every night. Cajun food and cajun music, what else could you ask for!?

I heard about a tour of Martin Accordian but had no information. So I called and found out they only give tours to tour groups, but we were in luck, they had a tour group coming at 3:15 and we could join them. It is a small, family owned operation for the past 27 years. Mainly it was a presentation about the history of cajun music and how the accordian fits. Cajun music was not introduced to the accordian until the late 1800s when some German immigrants brought the instrument into the area. It was quickly adopted and changed the flavor of cajun music forever. Giving us the presentation was the patriarch of the family and studio, Clarence Martin or 'pop', his daughter and one of his grandsons, Joel.

Last weekend was not only the International Festival in Lafayette, but there were other festivals in the area as well. We visited the Etouffee Festival on Sunday. We listed to the Joel Martin Project band. Little did we know he was the grandson of the founder of Martin Accordians. At the end of the blog is a video of Joel playing the accordian.

After we left the Etouffee festival we wandered over to Eunice, passing through Opelousas. They have lots of claims to fame.

And claim a lot of firsts.

And finally we got Eunice, but it was all closed up being it was Sunday. So we missed the Cajun Music Museum. But we did get a picture of the namesake of this town. No info about her, but we saw the statue.

Eunice is home of the Liberty Center Theater. Every Saturday night they have a live music broadcast of cajun music, much like that of the Grand Ole Opry. It is only $5 to get in and you get to listen to some great cajun muscicians and do some cajun dancing if you wish. We missed this too. Gotta leave something to do next time we are in town.

Joel Martin really gets into playing the accordian. Martin Accordian only make 10 button dichronic accordians. If you want to know more, either come down and take the tour yourself or look it up. He is 23 years old and has been playing publically since he was 10.

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