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Jo-El Sonnier "Tear Stained Letter"

I needed to get a Mardi Gras fix, so I set out on I-10 eastbound, and hit the Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana this past Saturday night. Jo-El Sonnier and The Louisiana Dream Team were playing as part of their Mardi Gras Madness celebration. I drove for five hours, crossing the border of Texas, passing towns like Port Arthur, Beaumont, and then Vidor, which has a billboard pronouncing it was “Where The Music Began.” Evidently, they have had an inordinate amount of nationally known musicians for a town that size.

When I got to Lake Charles, I walked through the lavender doors of the casino into a neon world, with the dinging of the machines with that faintly metallic hum that all betting establishments have. Mardi Gras beads were in profusion, some of them were flashing like the pagers you get when on line at your favorite restaurant. (They made me hungry...Pavlov’s Dog at work?) Mardi Gras means gaiety is everywhere. Tomorrow comes Lent. What are you giving up? Heavens, I could give up just about everything but not music, not ever.

Jo-El Sonnier, The Ragin' Cajun, is a revelation, his music spans the flavors from Cajun to Zydeco, to traditional country, to well-chosen and sometimes unexpected covers. It is all soulful stuff, and his band smokes. He has a brand new album out called Where’s That Music Comin’ From? I was looking for video on Jo-El, and came upon something from a very eclectic TV show from way back when. Night Music only lasted for two seasons, and was hosted by David Sanborn. It amassed an amazingly diverse list of virtuosos artists creating a musically bold show.

Here is Jo-El with Richard Thompson and David Sanborn doing “Tear Stained Letter.”

- Jessie Scott

PS: I was on the phone talking to someone during my drive, who said that there were tornadoes in Louisiana, and to be careful. Had I gone further east, I would have driven through Rayne, LA, where they touched down. Our hearts go out to them.

Tear-Stained Letter - Cookin' Cajun

Reader Comments (3)

Oh yes, yes, yes...this video is AMAZING!!! It makes me grin like a fool through the whole thing!

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

I can not say enough good things about Jo el Sonnier. I have been a fan for years. His show at the Isle of Capri recently was the first time I had ever seen him and perform live. He does not disapoint. He put on a very good show. Got pictures, met and talked with his wife Bobbye. She is one of the nicest women you'll ever meet.No one will ever know how much that meant to me seeing Jo el. Was like a dream come true Thank you Isle of Capri, for the chance,Thank you Jo el and the Dreram Team. You were awesome, a big thank you to Bobbye for keeping ya'll all straight. Would'nt want her job:) Most of all Thank you Lord for making it possible. Carlene Trivett Baytown,Tx..

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarlene trivett

What a musician! Cant wait to see him live again!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdavid wages

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