Savoy-Doucet Band | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Savoy-Doucet Band

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Traditional music tends to crystallize people's everyday experiences. Cajuns, the French-speaking minority in Louisiana, historically have had a pretty rough time of it; along with poverty they've long faced the deliberate suppression of their language and culture, and more recently the general homogenization of American culture has threatened their survival. Cajun music, with its stock of songs about heartbreak and death, acknowledges despair even while banishing it with driving dance rhythms. For the Savoy-Doucet Band playing isn't just a great way to pass the time, it's a conscious act of cultural affirmation. Fiddler Michael Doucet may experiment with rock instruments and contemporary themes with his other band, Beausoleil, but when he plays with Marc and Ann Savoy they play two-steps and waltzes in the tradition of departed elders like Dennis McGee and Amede Ardoin. But a Savoy-Doucet Band performance isn't a dry musicological exercise; they play together with empathy and an unbridled enthusiasm infused with their love for music. Doucet's fiddling is fiery without being flashy, and Ann Savoy's a sure-fingered rhythmic guitarist. Marc Savoy quite literally knows accordions inside out; when he isn't playing them, he builds them. All three sing--all in French. The Savoy-Doucet Band rarely play outside their home state, and this is their Chicago debut. Friday, 9:30 PM, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118.

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