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Louisiana's Best-Kept Secret, Chris Ardoin - 2001-05-22

Southern Louisiana has a rich history of traditional music. One of the first to record Cajun or Creole music in the 1930s was accordionist Amede Ardoin. Amede's cousin Alphonse Ardoin kept the family name alive with his own brand of Creole music, followed by Alphonse's son Lawrence. The newest member of the Ardoin family is Chris Ardoin, who some people are calling "Louisiana's best-kept secret."

Accordionist, composer and singer Chris Ardoin has been making lots of people happy with his fiery mix of Creole, rock and soul. Fresh out of Lake Charles High School in Southeastern Louisiana, Chris recorded his first album at age 17. Accompanied by his older brother Sean on drums, Chris' band Double Clutchin' was an immediate hit on the bayou's zydeco and Cajun nightclub circuit.

Chris Ardoin and his brother Sean went their separate ways in 1999. Sean formed a band called ZyedeKool, while Chris continued to tour and record with Double Clutchin'. The group's latest album "Best Kept Secret" features guitarist Nat Fontenot, bassist Curley Chapman and Chris' other brother Dexter on drums. Chris sings, and plays accordion and bass on a cover version of the 1972 Temptations hit "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone."

The music of Motown was one of Ardoin's most important influences. But life along the bayou probably had an even greater impact. His tune "What's In That Bayou?" begins with the sounds of a Louisiana river.

Chris Ardoin recently appeared at the 30th Annual I-Fest in Houston, Texas. The multi-cultural festival featured nine stages of Celtic, country, blues, rock, Tejano and zydeco music.