Families and friends from the Cane River community gathered at Cane River Creole National Historical Park’s Oakland Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana on the breezy and pleasant evening of Sunday, July 29, to visit with one another and enjoy an evening of Creole and Delta music.
Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys kicked off the evening’s music with traditional Creole La-La, sung entirely in French. Up next was Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots, which included Park Rangers Matt Hampsey and Bruce Barnes of New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Performing with them were fiddler Gina Forsythe, percussionist Leroy Etienne, and bassist Michael Harris.
The toe-tapping tunes inspired some in the audience to get up and dance with their neighbor, while others lounged in the shade of the enormous pecan tree near the stage. Some even picked and ate the fruit from the Jujube trees found on the Oakland grounds with their children.
This was Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots’ final stop on their tour of NPS sites. Previous stops included Vicksburg NMP, Shiloh NMP, Fort Donelson NB and, Central High NHS. The tour marks the impending release of their CD, Songs of the Lower Mississippi Delta, which was funded by the Lower Mississippi Delta Region Initiatives. The CD includes monologues and poetry set to song, as well as blues and traditional Creole songs. The compilation aims to highlight the rich cultural diversity and history found in the music of the lower Mississippi Delta.
The day’s events were also made possible by assistance from Cane River National Heritage Area.