A Breaux Bridge Too Far!

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Just a few days to go before you all head off. Though I know a few will be leaving today. I look forward to seeing you all in Memphis on Saturday.

Greetings from the public library in Breaux Bridge where we are staying for two nights in….yes, a cabin by the bayou. It’s not quite as idyllic as it seems as the main road runs nearby, the large semis occasionally shattering the chirp of the cicadas or crickets or whatever they are. Feral cats roam around seraching for food.

But we are on Bayou Teche and we did get to hear some cajun music from Jay Cormier last night at Mulate’s, which is just a few minutes walk away. If you survive the stroll along the highway, given the absence a footpath, it is a pleasant way to spend the night.

There is no internet, WiFi or even a phone, at the cabins which is why I am here, finishing off some work while Tony and Graham take a boat along the bayou or go to Eunice.

Yesterday afternoon we had lunch with CC Adcock at Antler’s restaurant in Lafayette. Apparently, he lives ‘just 52 steps away’ from it and eats there most days. We had the lunch special of stuffed pork chop. CC noted that I went through it ‘like Sherman went through Georgia.’ I had not had breakfast so might have been a bit peckish!

Lafayette’s CBD seems to have an abundance of bars, lawyers and denists and not much else. The other night when we went for a stroll we were very much alone on quiet streets. As we passed the large court house, Graham asked, ‘I wonder if they have much crime here?’ ‘We’ll soon find out!’ was my reply.

CC put us in touch with Mark Miller – son of famous producer JD Miller – in Crowley. So we drove over and visited his Modern Music store and he showed us the studio there and one at an adjacent building. I have to say they are humble constructions but I guess you don’t need flashy equipment to produce great music. There is a lot of old recording equipment from the 60s, old valve models. I don’t think they have done much recording there lately. Mark also sells a lot of old 45’s and LPs and has a large room full of them. You can find the catalogue at his website – www.mterecords.com.

We then visited the museum in City Hall on the corner. It was once the old Ford factory where Model Ts that had been shipped from Detroit were resassembled. Henry Ford had the brillaint idea that if you took the fenders and wheels off the cars you could fit four per train carriage instead of two.

Purchased by JD Miller in the 60s it became home to his Mastertrak Studios and famous for its many recordings, including Slim Harpo’s for Excello.

The city managed to rip out the old studio and has replaced it with something that looks nothing like the original. Reminds one ofthe Stax experience. The highlight was actually a video about the studio, JD and the artists who recorded there.

On Sunday we stayed at the Blue Moon in Lafayette which in is in a good location but is more of a hostel than a guest house. It was the first time for many years that I have shared a room with three other blokes. The bathrooms were a short walk away. Even at Marie-Francoise’ house in New Orleans we had separate rooms. However, it was cheap, costing us just US$24 a night each.

The Blue Moon is also a venue and we had just missed CW Stoneking – by five nights. The owner was impressed that CW was travelling with an entourage – wife, child and tour manager. When asked how he went over with the audience, she said that most people thought he came from Mississippi!

The other day when Tony told a chap he was from Australia he got the reply, ‘I really like you people. I’d like to go live there. I admire what the Governor of California has been doing.’ Tony didn’t have the heart to tell him that Arnold is Austrian !

Tomorrow we pick up two mini-buses in Baton Rouge and head up to Clarksdale, Oxford and then meet you in Memphis.

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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