This direct-to-disc release, recorded in the church sanctuary of Blue Heaven
Studios, is so fresh and pure... Talk about up to audiophile standards! The
immediacy, the dynamics - slam and delicacy alike - are just so startlingly
real. There's nothing lost. It's positively lifelike.
Cutting engineer Kevin Gray, using Blue Heaven's Neumann VMS 70 lathe with an
Ortofon cutter head and amplifiers, and recording engineer Katsu Naito have made
available for your playback the closest thing possible to a live, in-person
performance. With direct-to-disc recording, the signal from the microphone is
transmitted directly to the cutter head, which then cuts the grooves into a raw
lacquer. There's no middleman. No tape. No tape hiss. No distortion or other
artifacts inherent in any other type of recording.
And the music? It's killer! The session was recorded the weekend of the 12th
annual Blues Masters at the Crossroads in October 2009.
Handy was born and raised as the oldest of seven children in St. Martinville,
Louisiana, the parish seat of St. Martin Parish and right on the Bayou Teche.
It's a rural town about 15 miles southeast of Lafayette and is generally
considered the heart of the Creole and Cajun melting pot that makes this
specific sub-region unique to anywhere else in the world. It's from right here
that so much of the culture - the food, music, swamp life - that people
associate with Louisiana comes. Like with many people from St. Martinville,
Handy's heritage is Creole, meaning it's tangled.
Handy's earliest musical inspiration came from his father, who had an old
accordion that he toyed with as nothing more than a pastime, and some cousins
who were "fooling around" with music. "I saw that, and I wanted to take it and
be better," Handy says. "The first thing I picked up was a guitar. And I took it
from there." His first professional gig came on bass in a cousin's band. From
there it was back to guitar and eventually accordion as a bandleader. In
between, he played in the bands of Rockin' Dopsie for many years as well as in
the very first incarnation of Buckwheat Zydeco just after Buckwheat had left
While he'd recorded previously as a bandleader, Handy's 2008 APO Records release
Zydeco Feeling marked his first widely distributed release in 25 years.
"Major Handy is one of Zydeco’s younger, more active performers, born in the heart of the Louisiana region that gave birth to the sound, and a veteran who played with Rockin’ Dopsie. Chad Kassem’s crew has captured the swing and the feel of the genre, while showcasing an instrument that’s key to Zydeco but hardly an audiophile staple: the accordion. This six-track set is as undiluted as it gets, and it just might make you a convert." - Ken Kessler, Hi-Fi News, Sound Quality Rating: 87%
• Direct To Disc (D2D)
• 180g Vinyl
1. Jalapeno Cornbread
2. Bad Luck And Trouble
3. Well I Done Got Over It
4. Zydeco Feeling
5. Te Ni Nee Ni Nu
6. Lost My Baby