. . . plays Cajun music, the traditional songs of the French-speaking inhabitants of rural southwest Louisiana. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, this five-piece ensemble performs the contemporary Cajun style made popular by Aldus Roger and Walter Mouton, an electrified dance hall style replete with fiddle, accordion, steel guitar, bass, and drums.
The name “Courtableu” derives from “Sur le Courtableu,” the song by legendary Louisiana accordionist Nathan Abshire, in which a Louisiana swain implores his young lady,
|S’en aller sur le Courtableu, petit monde,
Let’s go to Bayou Courtableu, little one
Pour ramasser des ecopeaux, ye yaie,
To gather kindling, ye yaie,
Pour faire du feu, bebé,
To make a fire, baby,
Pour faire boulillier des tourloulous.
To boil some sand crabs
Who wouldn’t want to spend a summer’s afternoon on the Bayou, to while away the hours in the company of your sweetheart? Abshire’s song, an easy-going vision of an earthly paradise, isn’t too far removed from the surface of everyday life in Acadia (Bayou Courtableau is actually just east of Opelousas in St. Landry Parish). Those of us in the outer world may only imagine what it’s like. Listening to the song, though, one can almost touch the dream . . .
Raised up in the fertile musical environment of the Bay Area, the members of Courtableu all played and studied with legendary accordionist and teacher Danny Poullard. Individually, they have performed with such famed Cajun musicians as Marc and Ann Savoy, Michael Doucet, the California Cajun Orchestra, Jesse Legé, Edward Poullard and many others. Their dedication to the authentic Cajun honky-tonk sound and their vibrant, soulful performances have won them many friends and admirers among lovers of French Louisiana music.
Band members include:
Richard Chon, fiddle and vocals
Maureen Karpan, accordion and vocals
Sam Siggins, drums
Gordon Clegg, guitar
Bob Huberman, bass