A celebrated Cajun musician's accordion lives on - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

A celebrated Cajun musician's accordion lives on

Musicians Steve Riley and Justin Manuel are playing with a piece of Cajun music history.  Justin's family purchased the accordion of the late Cajun music pioneer Nathan Abshire years ago.  It was made in Lake Charles and is seen in several pictures of Abshire.    

"I grabbed this accordion and played that song,"  said Manuel.  "It sounds exactly like what I've been learning.  No accordion sounds exactly the same.  When you play this one, it sounds like I was him playing the accordion almost." 

"It was played by a giant in Cajun music," said Riley.  "A man who left his mark on the music and it'll be there forever." 

Abshire, who died in 1981, made several recordings with Dewey Balfa and the Balfa Brothers and promoted Cajun music through appearances at festivals, colleges and schools across the United States. 

"He lived the life of a blues man.  He was the caretaker of the Basile dump.  He led a very simple life but loved to play music.  I think music, like it is for all us musicians, was an escape.  It brought him joy and in turn brought millions joy."   

The case that holds Abshire's accordion is almost as famous as the instrument itself.  He always said "the good times are killing me." 

Manuel says he plans to keep it in the family for a long time. 

"We've been offered a pretty good amount of money and we wouldn't sell it," said Manuel.  "It's a piece of history that we have and we wouldn't want to sell it."

 Abshire's music lives on in recordings and through musicians playing his accordion.   

Copyright KPLC 2014.  All rights reserved

 

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Road closures in Southwest Louisiana

    Road closures in Southwest Louisiana

    Road closures in Southwest Louisiana

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 7:12 AM EST2017-11-22 12:12:00 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    The following is a list of road closures for Southwest Louisiana.

    More >>

    The following is a list of road closures for Southwest Louisiana.

    More >>
  • Shop small this 'Small Business Saturday'

    Shop small this 'Small Business Saturday'

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 5:34 AM EST2017-11-22 10:34:50 GMT
    (Source: www.americanexpress.com)(Source: www.americanexpress.com)

    This Saturday, small businesses across the country will be opening their doors with deals for customers. It's part of Small Business Saturday – an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In the Bayou State, there are a total of 436,867 small businesses with a total of 910,366 employ...

    More >>

    This Saturday, small businesses across the country will be opening their doors with deals for customers. It's part of Small Business Saturday – an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In the Bayou State, there are a total of 436,867 small businesses with a total of 910,366 employ...

    More >>
  • DOTD and Sasol install traffic signal system to mitigate traffic woes

    DOTD and Sasol install traffic signal system to mitigate traffic woes

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 11:48 PM EST2017-11-22 04:48:21 GMT
    Source: Christian PiekosSource: Christian Piekos

    To attempt to quell commuter headaches in Westlake, D.O.T.D. and Sasol teamed up to implement a traffic signal system. This system is the first of its kind in Louisiana, it's called an "adaptive traffic signal system." "The system adjusts the traffic signal timings based on actual traffic demand and helps reduce the amount of congestion," said Dr. Shawn Wilson, DOTD secretary. "It enhances safety, reduces delays and shortens travel times for drivers..." ...

    More >>

    To attempt to quell commuter headaches in Westlake, D.O.T.D. and Sasol teamed up to implement a traffic signal system. This system is the first of its kind in Louisiana, it's called an "adaptive traffic signal system." "The system adjusts the traffic signal timings based on actual traffic demand and helps reduce the amount of congestion," said Dr. Shawn Wilson, DOTD secretary. "It enhances safety, reduces delays and shortens travel times for drivers..." ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly