The Coop is a new Valcour Records collaborative project with Louisiana musicians, chefs, storytellers, and artists of all disciplines, bringing exclusive monthly content unavailable anywhere else!

This week we celebrate Cajun culture in a partnership with Valcour Records’ monthly series, the Coop, which focuses on Louisiana musicians, chefs, storytellers, and artists of all disciplines.

Featuring curated videos and stories about Acadian culture, downloads of new music releases, and recipes from local chefs, the Coop presents an amazing portrait of Cajun country and shows how vibrant and powerful the region’s traditions remain.

We encourage you to enjoy this week’s content from the Arhoolie Foundation and consider subscribing to the Coop. You’ll be glad you did.

In 1998, the Arhoolie Foundation produced the documentary “Everything But The Squeak,” an up-close look at a traditional Cajun Country boucherie, or hog butchering, and the communal feast surrounding it. Set in and around Eunice, the documentary follows the day-long ritual as friends and neighbors gather around the boucherie with side dishes and desserts to compliment the various preparations of the newly butchered hog. Director Alan Govenar also pays close attention to the music and dance which enliven the day. A high point is the 9 a.m. live radio performance by Donald Thibodeaux & Cajun Fever from the legendary Fred’s Lounge in Mamou. As the band kicks into gear, Fred’s widow, Tante Sue, sips from a bottle of cinnamon schnapps and welcomes the assembled crowd. “Only on Saturday mornings at Fred’s in Mamou,” she says, “the only place like this in the world.” 


Leo Soileau was one of the most prolific early Cajun musicians, recording over 100 songs between 1928-1937. He learned to play fiddle as a young man by visiting the great Dennis McGee. After the success of Joe Falcon’s Cajun record, Leo got his first chance to record for Victor with Mayeus LaFleur, who was killed in a barroom fight before the record, “Mama, Where You At?” was released. Leo went on to record classic Cajun records with Moise Robin. A musical innovator, he picked up trends quickly and added guitars, bass, and drums to the traditional Cajun sound. His band the Rhythm Boys counted among its alumni such notable musicians as Happy Fats and Papa Cairo. In a 1974 interview with Chris Strachwitz, Leo describes his background, recording history, and why he retired from playing music.

  • Ma Jolie Petite Fille 00:00
Michael Doucet leads the GRAMMY Award winning band Beausoleil along with his brother, David. The Doucet brothers have been ambassadors of Cajun music for nearly five decades. First recorded by Arhoolie in 1981, they are well known for their high-spirited and educational live shows, where Michael shares the stories behind the songs and the Cajun and Creole musicians who made them. From an intimate performance at Down Home Music in El Cerrito, CA in 2009, Beausoleil performs “Carrière Zydeco:” a medley of tunes by the Carrière Brothers from Latwell, LA, masters of the old-time style whose vast repertoire reached deep into the musical lifeblood of an older Louisiana.
In 1962, while driving from New Orleans to Houston, Chris Strachwitz heard a Cajun radio show on KEUN-AM. “I was just enamored by the sound,” he recalls in a 2020 interview. “When I asked at the service station, they told me where it was. I just drove up there.” He arrived to find a colorful cast of characters gathered around twin microphones in an open-air dance hall. Attorney Paul Tate, a promoter of traditional Cajun music, played master of ceremonies in a white plantation suit. Radio announcer Revon Reed were there, as were a group of musicians led by fiddler Adam Landreneau. Chris recalls a big bottle of whiskey which “obviously, contributed to the good spirits that were emanating from that radio station,” and before long he was snapping photos on his Leica camera.
  • Adam Landreneau - La Talle d'Eronces 00:00