The name Abshire is thought of as synonymous with Cajun music. Ray Abshire has been around Cajun music all his life, and he is now the reigning royalty in that world. Ray was very young when he replaced his cousin, the renowned accordionist Nathan Abshire, in the acclaimed Balfa Brothers Band in the late '60s. After a few years, he made a move to leave the band for a more settled way of life, and remained inactive in music until his reemergence in the late '90s.
The two fiddle players from Balfa Toujours, Kevin Wimmer and Courtney Grangér, and also guitarist André Michot, from the Lost Bayou Ramblers join him on this, his maiden disc. Both of the fiddle players have that connection to the Balfa Brothers Band, plus Courtney Grangér is a cousin to the Balfa family and thus another direct link to the Balfa Brothers legacy.
Abshire is a traditional accordionist who has more than enough technical skills for several bands, while at the same time not being so schooled that his breathtaking playing is hidden by his technique. He attacks a song with the precise timing that might leave the listener gaping in wonder. But, he allows plenty of room for inspiring runs from the two fiddle players, who find plenty of creative stimulus from the interplay that creates inspired music. Ray puts his vocal stamp on seven cuts while Courtney does vocal honors on four others, leaving seven cuts to the instrumentals.
Recorded in Abshire's living room, For Old Times Sake is a disc of songs mostly from the Abshire and Balfa family tradition. There is a magic captured on this album that should not be missed. Whether it is the result of where it was recorded, who is playing, or … is unimportant. What is important is that you don't overlook the disc.
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