JOE SANDS FONTENOT Traditional Cajun Creole Band
No catchphrases.....just the real deal. We play for the love of traditional styles of the music of our culture. The group has sprung up from get togethers in Mr Joe's back room over strong coffee, laughs , and pots simmering on the stove. We play because we love the music and our culture. Many Louisiana creoles came to the west coast for work after the war and formed communities in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mr Joe "Sands" Fontenot, on accordion, was born outside of Mamou and raised in L'Anse Grise, Louisiana and moved to Los Angeles seeking work. He brought his music with him like many creoles. In the tradition of Danny Poullard in the bay area and Joe Simien in Los Angeles, Mr Joe carries on the tradition of practicing and keeping the culture alive by playing and extending the music to those that come and sit with him in that practice room at the back of the house. Just like those before him it is all about the feel of the music and passing it on by ear. He will be the last to tell you, but his relations are strong in the French Creole music tradition as his cousins continue to play on stages and festivals back home.
Guy Martin, on fiddle, was born in New Orleans to a creole mother who spoke French first. He spent time in his early years listening to his Avoyelles Parish born creole grandfather play the fiddle as well as learning Louisiana French from his family. In college he was fortunate to have his ears seasoned on the live playing of Dewey Balfa as well as Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys while working at Mulatte's cajun restaurant. He feels lucky to continue playing tunes under the guidance of Mr. Joe.
Carolyn Russel has been an integral part of the creole community of Los Angeles since the early sixites. She has played with Wilfred Latour, Joe Simien, Edgar Leday, and other stalwarts the creole expat community. She hosted a community dance in Culver City that lasted ten years and was instrumental in bringing much of Cajun and Creole music to Southern California . She has toured internationally as well as represented creole music at Port Townsend Fiddle tunes. She brings a true respect to the culture and lends a truly authentic feel to the sound.