A California-Style Fais Do Do

A California-Style Fais Do Do

April 14, 2014  |  Cajun Zydeco

Cajun and Zydeco music comes from a tradition of Louisiana house parties called fais do do, where family and friends gathered to forget about the hard work that filled their days and enjoy music and food together. Around here, the closest you can come to that kind of experience is to attend a party in John’s woodshop. I was lucky enough to be there when Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic played, and it was unlike any other time I’ve heard them perform.

Because, really, it didn’t feel like a performance at all. People arrived carrying a chair and a dish to share. The potluck wasn’t just incidental — this was some seriously good food. Andre and the band set up under the open rollup door, where inside met outside, and they were surrounded by folks who greeted them and each other. This was a meeting of friends, happy to be spending a few hours together.

I’ve never seen anything like it. There was a specific kind of energy that traveled in a circle from the crowd to the band and back again. It was just plain joyful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Andre and the band have more fun.

It was special and everyone knew it. It takes an incredible amount of work to clear out the woodshop and prepare for these parties, but John is happy to do it because of what the parties have come to represent. But for a shared love of this happy music, these folks might never have met each other. Now they are a community. John shakes his head in wonder. “Music and food, man. You can’t beat it.”

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