The D.L. Menard Page

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Swallow
CDCHD 327
Rounder
CD 6049
Swallow
SW 6125-2
Rounder
CD 6021
Rounder
CD 0198
Arhoolie
CD 312
A good place to get D.L. Menard tapes and CDs is Floyd's Record Shop in Ville Platte, Louisiana. Call 318-363-4893 and ask for Romona. Floyd's is also a great source for books, tapes and souvenirs of Cajun Country. Proprietor Floyd Soileau is also chief executive of Swallow Records.
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Liner Notes From Cajun Saturday Night (Rounder CD0198)

Written In 1984 By Ricky Skaggs

I’ll never forget the first time I heard D.L. Menard. It was a foggy night at Point Bonita in the Margin Headlands across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. A package tour was assembling for a 42,000 mile around-the-world tour. The people on the tour were John Jackson, a great bluesman from Virginia; D.L. Menard’s Louisiana Aces Cajun Band; and my favorite family band, The Whites. Someone had decided that all of us should do a song or two together at the end of the show and we were there to practice, eyeing each other, wondering what to try first. Kathy James had organized the tour and she had a good suggestion. "D.L., how about a Hank Williams song?" D.L. Sang "House of Gold" and when Buck, Sharon and Cheryl White joined in on the first chorus I got some chill bumps and went hunting my fiddle.

We passed through 7 nations in Asia and the Near East, doing our best to make friends for our country and its good music. The finale with everyone on stage was always wonderful and we became very close. D.L invited all of us to come down for Mardi Gras in the Cajun country where they go from farm to farm on horseback, wearing old costumes, playing music, and making a collection of food for the Mardi Gras dance and feast.

D.L. has been performing on stages since he was 17, singing in English and French. There are 900,000 Cajuns in Louisiana and east Texas, a wonderfully friendly people with big hearts and their special brand of great country music. They speak French and D.L. has made many fine records for them in French. This is his first in English. It is country music with great honkytonk sound that all of you know from hearing Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams & the Drifting Cowboys and others who performed in that style that forever changed country music. D.L. grew up on those sounds and he loves them with all his heart. D.L. doesn’t imitate Hank Williams or anyone else, but he has that bottom-of-the-heart sincerity that Hank had, so people tend to remember Hank when D.L. sings. We asked D.L. to put a couple of songs in Cajun French on the record. He is famous in Louisiana as a composer and these are his songs. I don’t understand the words to them, but I understand the spirit and I think you will too.

I want to thank everyone that helped, especially Don Helms and Jerry Rivers of the Drifting Cowboys for their interest and good sound; Jerry Douglas for being as great as he always is; and D.L’s old roommate Buck White, for some mighty fine piano. It was good to learn that there’s another fine singer in D.L.’s family, his son, Larry. I get in a few licks on the fiddle, and I want to thank D.L. for letting me help.

                                                                                                        -Ricky Skaggs 1984

 

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D.L. Menard in his chair factory at Erath, Louisiana.

 

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