Creole music
Eunice, Louisiana

He’s been called “the last of the Creole accordion players,” but Joe Hall’s incomparable talent and his undeniable joy for sharing the music of southwest Louisiana virtually guarantee a bright future for the tradition. Fiddle-based and melody-driven like the tunes of their Cajun neighbors, Creole (sometimes called Creole la-la) is the music of the region’s Black Francophone community. As popular music electrified, Creole gave birth to zydeco, which lost the fiddle and prioritized an amped-up rhythm section; Joe Hall and the Cane Cutters bring audiences the best of both, showcasing gorgeous Creole dance melodies backed by a non-stop zydeco beat.

As a kid growing up in “the mamou” prairie region, Joe Hall was enthralled by the music of his grandfather, Clement “King” Ned. Hall describes his grandfather as a “Creole house-dance accordion player” who, with his fine voice and penchant for stomping out the rhythm, ably stood in for the whole dance band when a fiddler couldn’t be found. Joe Hall was only about six when he started secretly picking out tunes on his grandfather’s accordion, and his talent was undeniable by the time Ned heard him playing. As a teenager, Hall learned from other Creole legends like Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin, Canray Fontenot, and Carlton Frank; as he recalls, “It was unique then, being a young man knowing the songs that I knew.” He also played alongside Cajun and zydeco greats like Marc Savoy and Boozoo Chavis. “When it comes to the music, I make no distinction between Cajun and Creole,” Hall declares. “I seek to learn it all.”

Joe Hall has lived up to the trust that those elder statesmen had placed in him, and then some. As a teacher, he’s ensuring their legacy doesn’t end with him by mentoring the next generation of musicians. And beyond his stellar accomplishments as a performer, Hall continues to promote deeper appreciation for the rich culture of southwest Louisiana, having founded Frugé Records in 2010, and producing a documentary on Creole music with the support of the New Orleans Jazz and History Foundation.

Joe Hall is accompanied by the Cane Cutters, an all-star band of Creole, Cajun, and zydeco talents: on fiddle is Luke Huval, guitarist Mark Palms, and bassist Chuck Bush fronts a rhythm section—drummer “Lil’” Paul Lavin and rub board player Neil Williams—who deftly marry zydeco’s distinctive rhythms to Hall’s complex Creole melodies, sure to bring Lowell to the dance floor.

Website and Social Media:

Joe Hall & The Cane Cutters Facebook

Joe Hall & The Cane Cutters YouTube