The Earl King classic with a Cajun rub!
Pic: Fernest Arceneaux when he appeared w/ Clarence “Jockey” Etienne at an Ogden show in NOLA 2007http://yfrog.com/h0t8miwj
Sad to report that Fernest Arceneaux passed in 2008 –http://bit.ly/gOf4pV
Fernest Arceneaux Dies of Natural Causes
Lafayette Native and Zydeco Musician Transitions
August 27, 1940-September 4, 2008 Fernest Arceneaux, lead accordionist for Fernest and the Thunders, passed away on September 4, 2008 at the age of 68 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Known in the Zydeco Nation as “The New Prince of Accordion”, Fernest Arceneaux was known for his intense and creative accordion rifts. Fernest Arceneaux was torch-bearer for the classic zydeco traditions personified by the King of modern Zydeco Music, Clifton Chenier and promoted Creole and Zydeco music and heritage throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Fernest Arceneaux, was born on August 27, 1940 to a large sharecropping family based in Lafayette, Louisiana. He learned to play an accordion owned by his brother-in-law by under the watchful eye of his father, a local Creole musician. Fernest polished his craft by backing up his father’s band at local house parties. By the 1960s, Fernest Arceneaux had abandoned his Creole and Zydeco roots to play guitar in a rock & roll band named Fernest and the Thunders. The outfit featured two drummers and enjoyed a measure of success. At the encouragement and mentoring of the King of Zydeco Music, Clifton Chenier, Mr. Arceneaux returned to playing the accordion, and the Thunders made the move from rock & roll to Zydeco music.
His band, the Thunders, featured singer/bassist Victor Walker, guitarist Chester Chevalier and drummer Clarence “Jockey” Etienne. The band toured extensively in Europe and recorded classic Zydeco albums like “Fernest and the Thunders”, “Rockin’ Pneumonia” in 1979, and 1981 “Zydeco Stomp!” in 1981. In the early eighties, singer/bassist Victor Walker was killed in a barroom brawl. Fernest and the Thunders recorded Zydeco Thunder in 1985 and Gumbo Special in 1987. Injuries and asthma eventually sidelined Mr. Arceneaux in the late 1980s and the original Thunders broke up (two members, Clarence “Jockey” Etienne and Chester Chevalier, are now part of the Creole Zydeco Farmers). In 2000, Fernest Arceneaux along with Paul “Lil’ Buck” Sinegal on guitar, Alonzo Johnson on bass, Joseph Edwards on percussion; and Jerry Jumonville on saxophone recorded the CD, “Old School Zydeco” which featured an assortment of blues-oriented numbers and rural zydeco like John Delafose’s “Joe Pitre Has Two Women” and “Watch That Dog,” an Alvin Cormier song also recorded by Delafose; Rockin’ Sidney’s “Good for the Gander”; Clifton Chenier’s “Tous les temps en temps” (“Tu le ton son ton”); Fats Domino’s “Three Nights a Week”; two traditional French songs, “Hippy Ti Yo” and “J’ai passé devant ta porte”; Gene Morris’ “Going Back to Big Mamou”; and Arceneaux’s own songs, including “Whole Lot of Love,” “So Long,” and the instrumental “Old School Zydeco.” Thank you Mr. Fernest Arceneaux for fighting the good fight, for walking the narrow road, and showing us the importance of keeping our roots strong! For more information about funeral arrangements for Fernest Arceneaux, please stay connected to www.ZydecoOnline.com. ZydecoOnline and the Zydeco Nation would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the entire Arceneaux family. Posted by ZLady on Friday, September 05, 2008