Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sounds
Cajun accordionist Sheryl Cormier is, in her own quiet way, a revolutionary.
In 1990, she became the first woman to front an all-female band in the male-dominated Cajun music business. And, crowds loved it. After that early success, Cormier formed Cajun Sounds. The band includes her husband, Russ Cormier, who plays drums and sings. She is also joined by Ivy Dugas on steel guitar and vocals and David Vorandoon fiddle. Together, the musicians put out a contemporary sound with traditional roots, reflecting their Cajun heritage. They have played at venues all over the world as well as at the dance halls and festivals in their home state.
Cormier was always involved in the music of her culture. Her father and mother performed music professionally. She started playing with their group, the Sunset Playboys, as a young girl. Building on her love of the traditional waltzes and two-steps that characterize Cajun dance music, Cormier developed her own unique style of doing old songs in a new way.
This technique is evident on her first CD release, Queen of Cajun Music or "La Reine de Musique Cadjine." The 1994 recording opens with a lively dance tune, "Cajun Sound Two Step," which sets the tone for the entire album. Everyone is ready to party and this band is going to provide the musical component. Whether the dancers are holding each other close for "Valse de Pont d'Amour" or swinging and twirling on "Makes Me Feel Like Moving", Cormier and her band are right there for them.
Gaiety reigns as the fiddle soars and the bellows of Cormier's accordion swell with Cajun pride. She delivers on tunes like "Always You and Always Me" and "Five Minutes With You." In these songs, love is in the air. "When I Was Poor" speaks to the humble beginnings that the Cajun people experienced when they fled British oppression in Canada and resettled in the wetlands of Louisiana. The state has truly become home to the Cajun people. You can hear the affection for their adoptive land in the CD's final selection, "Louisiana Waltz," as the queen of Cajun music does her part to keep the heritage alive.