Ardoin, Alphonse “Bois Sec”
- Barry Jean Ancelet
(b L’Anse des Prien Noir, near Duralde, LA, Nov 16, 1915; d Eunice, LA, May 18, 2007). Creole accordionist, vocalist, and songwriter. A cousin of the legendary Creole accordionist Amédé Ardoin, Alphonse became interested in the Creole “la-la” music of his community, learning to play on his older brother’s accordion. In the late 1940s, he teamed up with his long-time partner, Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot. Together they were the core of the Duralde Ramblers, performing at local dance halls and house dances. In 1964, they were recorded by Ralph Rinzler, who was doing fieldwork for the Newport Folk Festival. They were invited to perform at Newport in 1966 and recorded their first album, Les blues du bayou, on the way home. By the 1970s, Ardoin and Fontenot were performing with the Ardoin Family Band, featuring several of Ardoin’s sons. With this band, Ardoin and Fontenot took their pre-zydeco Creole music to many parts of the country, becoming fixtures on the folk festival circuit. Ardoin tried to retire in the early 1970s, passing the torch to his son Gustave, but he rejoined the group when Gustave died in ...