Doug Kershaw – The Cajun Way

Artist: Doug Kershaw
Genre: Cajun, Country
Title: The Cajun Way
Label: Warner Bros
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Doug Kershaw
Producer:Buddy Killen
Engineer: Ernie Winfrey, Lee Hazen

From Wikipedia: Douglas James “Doug” Kershaw (born January 24, 1936) is an American fiddle player, singer and songwriter from Louisiana. Active since 1948, Kershaw has recorded fifteen albums.

Born in an unincorporated community called Tiel Ridge in Cameron Parish, Kershaw did not learn English until the age of eight. By that time, he had mastered the fiddle, which he played from the age of five, and was on his way to teaching himself to play 28 instruments. His first gig was at a local bar, the Bucket of Blood, where he was accompanied by his mother on guitar. Kershaw became interested in Cajun music during parties his parents would host on the family’s houseboat in Louisiana, where he first heard Cajun bands playing the music.

While seemingly obscure, there is a little more to this guy than meets the eye: From Wikipedia: The Kershaws appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee and became regular members of the Opry cast the following year. Despite the demands of his music career, Doug enrolled in McNeese State University, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Mathematics. After fulfilling their military obligation, the two brothers recorded “Louisiana Man”, an autobiographical song that Doug had written while in the Army. The song not only sold millions of copies but over the years has come to be considered a standard of modern Cajun music. The song was eventually covered by more than 800 artists. In June 1969, Kershaw made his first network television appearance on the debut of the Johnny Cash Show. He capped the year with a week-long engagement at the New York City’s Fillmore East as opening act for Eric Clapton’s Derek and the Dominos. In July 1969, he performed at the Newport folk festival with peers Joni Mitchell, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin Jack Elliot, Big Mama Thornton, and Mimi Farina, among others. Newcomers that year were Don McLean, James Taylor, and Jerry Jeff Walker. In November 1969, “Louisiana Man” was broadcast back to earth by the crew of the Apollo 12 moon mission.
In 1970, Kershaw contributed a violin part to Arlo Guthrie’s record single Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant. In 1971, Kershaw had a musical cameo in the Western film Zachariah, starring Don Johnson and John Rubinstein. In 1972, Kershaw played electric fiddle in Grand Funk’s “Flight of the Phoenix” off their LP Phoenix.

Other than the above, there is not much else. I could not even find much in credits for this LP. It is Kershaw’s debut LP though and not bad for a 1st calling card. I don’t see the point in breaking down the tracks as I can not find much info and I am not familiar enough to offer any insight myself. Once you get over the somewhat startling cover, which is taken up entirely by Doug Kershaw’s face. What I can say is that this LP is too fun and one doesn’t hear Cajun music much at all these days (unless you live in that part of Louisiana). This LP is the real thing and if you like country or just music overall, you owe it to yourself to have something a bit obscure and fun in your collection. This is why I bought this LP, it was $1 and I just wanted it for curiosity, if nothing else.
One other tid bit are the liner notes on this LP from Johnny Cash. (Too much to re-type here).

Of course, any copy of this LP you find will be in great condition since it was not traveled a lot.




Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison


Artist: Johnny Cash
Title: At Folsom Prison
Released: 1968
Label: Columbia
Format: Vinyl
Producer: Bob Johnston

This is going to be a brief review as I just like Johnny Cash without really knowing why. I’m also somewhat picky of what I like from him.

If anyone has any Johnny Cash in their library, this album is most likely part of the collection.
This album was recorded live at Folsom prison obviously. The recording is quite good for how and where it was done. There is a noticeable noise floor on a couple of the tracks,but doesn’t really detract from the music if one accepts the recording for what it is.

Side 1: The first track is the title and the big start of the show. Most of the tracks are tempo on this side. The two more known songs are “Folsom Prison Blues” and “25 minutes to go”.

Side 2: Most of the songs on this side are slower tempo except “Jackson”. June Carter joins Johnny Cash on “Jackson” and “Give My Love To Rose”

There is plenty of interaction between Johnny and band members and audience and other sounds such as warden announcements and such one hears on this LP. In fact this album is still somewhat chilling if you sit and listen and note the prison announcements and such.

If you get the vinyl there is a write-up by Johnny Cash on the back that talks about the LP, which is reproduced. It would be next to impossible to read in a CD booklet if it is included in that version.

Music: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars