Mamou, Louisiana calls itself the Cajun Music Capital and judging from the half dozen music bars along Main Street where you can hear live Cajun music most every day, the town may hold the title. (It has plenty of competition from nearby Eunice, Lafayette and others.)
Folks get up early every Saturday morning to come to Fred’s Lounge where for the past 70 years musicians put on a rocking show starting at 9 am. By the time we arrived at 9:30, the bar was packed. Nearly everyone had a beer or mixed drink in their hands and many of the couples were dancing: the two-step or a fast waltz. (Be sure to wait for the surprise appearance at the end of this video!)
Outside Mamou’s Main Square, strips of cloth fabric are tied to the trees, a display common around the time of the Courir de Mardi Gras, when people dress up in costumes and run from house to house to beg for ingredients for a tasty gumbo.
Even the police station decorates for Mardi Gras.
In a folk life museum in nearby Eunice, the costumes are on display. The cone-shaped hats date to Medieval times and were intended to mock the nobility. The Cajuns are French, by way of Nova Scotia, and you can still hear the language here on the radio.
We left the rig in New Orleans and stayed in a restored bungalow on the Frozard Plantation in Arnaudsville that was cozy and comfortable.
If we weren’t soaking up the local music and culture, we were checking out our favorite food – crawfish, fried fish and boudin sausage. All spicy and delicious!
I leave you with a few notes from this fine fiddler at Fred's.
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.