Pine Leaf Boys sets June 7 fundraiser at Chaseholm Farms

The Pine Leaf Boys are rooted in the traditional Cajun sound, they explore the different facets of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music.

Olivia Perillo

Pine Leaf Boys sets June 7 fundraiser at Chaseholm Farms

PINE PLAINS — The Pine Leaf Boys will perform in a fundraiser for the Oldtone Music Festival Friday, June 7, 6 p.m. at Chaseholm Farm (at 115 Chase Road in Pine Plains).

The Pine Leaf Boys have made a name for themselves with their unique brand of Louisiana music blending the sounds of Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp-Pop, Country, and Soul.

The group began busking on the college campus in Lafayette in 2004 and have since become one of the best known Cajun/Zydeco bands today. Accordionist, pianist and singer Wilson Savoy, won a Grammy award in 2012 for Best Regional Roots act.

As a child Savoy was given a hand-built accordion by his renowned musician father Marc Savoy. The accordion was built from the wood of a sassafras tree that was planted by Savoy’s grandfather.

Though The Pine Leaf Boys are rooted in the traditional Cajun sound, they explore the different facets of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music.

“We play traditional Cajun tunes, sung mostly in French, the language of our ancestors. We make it “new” by adding our own elements and “non-Cajun” musical inspirations of a little rock n roll, a little country music. We don’t hold back by boxing ourselves into a traditional cell, but rather allow the music to go wherever it wants,” Savoy says.

While studying at the University of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, Savoy became enamored with the accordion inspired by his heroes, Iry Lejeune, Amede Ardoin and his father, Marc Savoy, as well as the boogie-woogie piano style of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Now a teacher himself, Savoy has given classes on Cajun Music Ensemble at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He’s also acted, appearing on HBO’s “Treme” and in the film “All the King’s Men” with Sean Penn and John Goodman. These days he’s busy with The Pine Leaf Boys, The Savoy Family Band with his mom, dad, and brother Joel, and his Grammy award-winning group Courtbouillon.

About the state of Cajun music today, he says, “It has its ebbs and flows. I just flew back from Brooklyn where I played Swamp in the City festival. The scene and support is just as strong (if not stronger) than ever. All ages were out supporting and dancing to our music, and it’s quite a wonderful feeling to see it continue with such excitement from the audience.”

As he travels, Savoy has noticed that the band’s merry brand of music resonates particularly well in New England and California.

“Every day on tour is a dice roll, but usually we get a great response. The music is great- simple as that- time tested approved. But the venue/festival is important. If we get booked to play at a rock fest, it probably won’t go over as well as if we played a folk fest,” he says.

Cajun music is a melange of different world styles brought to Louisiana by French Arcadians. Typically it involves fiddles, accordion, and forThe Pine Leaf boys often piano, bass, drums, and guitar. “It’s important to make each song sound different, otherwise you’ll lose them to thinking it’s the same song over and over. We make great effort to tailor the set to interesting rhythms and vibes of songs so we keep the audience engaged. We love to see people dancing any which way- as long as they’re feeling it!” he says.

The Oldtone Festival has a history of supporting Americana roots music in upstate New York. They’ve produced festivals in Hillsdale, New York. Tickets are $30 and available on Eventbrite.

For more information on the band, see their site: www.pineleafboys.com

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