The one-row button accordion creates the defining sound that drives the waltzes and two-steps beloved by enthusiasts of Cajun music, both in its native territory and throughout the world. Even if you weren't lucky enough to be born and raised in southwest Louisiana, you can still learn to play authentic Cajun accordion! Dirk Powell, accordionist in the popular band Balfa Toujours, gives you all the tools you'll need to play this dynamic instrument.
Although basically quite simple in structure, in the hands of a good traditional player the Cajun accordion takes on a variety of interesting complexities. Dirk Powell has studied legendary players such as Bois Sec Ardoin, Nathan Abshire and others, and has incorporated their styles and techniques into his own playing. He is able to impart their characteristic subtleties and nuances to non-Cajun players in a clear and logical method. As an added bonus, Dirk's wife and musical partner, Christine Balfa (daughter of famed Cajun fiddler Dewey Balfa), joins him on rhythm guitar and vocals to perform the tunes he teaches.
"My wife gave me both of the Dirk Powell Cajun Accordion videos as a Christmas present this past Christmas. I wanted to thank you for making them. They present the basic techniques and ornamentation in a very clear and understandable way.
I had been stuck on octaves, ornamentation and chords for about a yearand had kind of stagnated. But the videos have made it possible for me to break through and get that Cajun sound. Recently I have been fortunate enough to be able to order an Acadian accordion from Marc Savoy. This time in the key of C! Now learning along with the tapes is no problem. Thanks again for an excellent set of videos." --Tom MacK
About the Cajun accordion by Dirk Powell:
"My accordion is a single-row diatonic button accordion in the key of C. (Diatonic in this case means that each button gets a different note depending on whether the bellows are pushing air or drawing air.) There are ten melody buttons on the right-hand side and two buttons on the left-hand side, one for bass and one for chords. In some countries they differentiate between button accordion and piano accordion by calling button accordions like mine "melodeons." My instrument could also be called a single-row (or one-row) melodeon. People who have button accordions with more rows can also benefit from this video by focusing on a single row of their instruments, provided one of their rows is in C. (Of course, you can benefit even if you do not have a row in C if you don't mind transposing things when you play them.)"