Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin

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Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin
Bois Sec playing at the 2002 Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette, LA. He is sitting.
Bois Sec playing at the 2002 Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette, LA.
Background information
Born (1915-11-16)November 16, 1915
Duralde, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
Died May 16, 2007(2007-05-16) (aged 91)
Eunice, Louisiana, U.S.
Genres Creole
Occupation(s) Musician, accordionist, singer
Instruments Vocals, Cajun accordion

Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin (November 16, 1915 – May 16, 2007)[1] was a Creole accordionist who specialized in the Creole music called "la la music" or "la musique Creole" (closely related to Cajun music) and was influential in what became zydeco music.

Early life[edit]

Born in Duralde in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, he earned his nickname meaning "dry wood" because he would always be the first to run in from the fields during a rainstorm. After starting on the triangle with his cousin Amédé Ardoin and fiddler Dennis McGee, he learned traditional accordion at age 12, playing the style of Louisiana music that was a precursor to zydeco.[2]

Musical groups[edit]

His longtime musical partner was Canray Fontenot. By 1948, they were playing together in the Duralde Ramblers, and performed on local radio stations and in clubs. In 1966, they were invited to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival, where they received an enthusiastic reception. In the same year, they recorded their first album, Les Blues Du Bayou, on the Melodeon label.[3]

In the early 1970s, Ardoin formed the Ardoin Family Orchestra with three of his sons, together with Canray Fontenot. They made a number of recordings, and appeared in two films, Dry Wood (1973) and J'ai Été Au Bal (1989). He retired from the music business after the death of one of his sons, Gustave, in 1974, but returned a few years later. After Fontenot's death in 1995, Ardoin performed with the band Balfa Toujours, and recorded an album, Allons Danser, with them in 1998.[3]


In 1986, Ardoin and Fontenot were awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.


On May 16, 2007 Bois Sec died at the age of 91 of natural causes in a nursing home in Eunice, Louisiana.[4]

Selected discography[edit]

  • La Musique Creole
  • Allons Danser
  • Les Blues De Bayou

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin". Retrieved 2009-10-08.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Fuselier, Herman (May 18, 2007). Friends, fans mourn legendary Bois Sec Ardoin. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. The Daily Advertiser
  3. ^ a b Juke Blues no.64, 2007, p.66
  4. ^ Jon Pareles (May 20, 2007). "Bois Sec Ardoin, Musician and Nurturer of Creole Tradition, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-08.

External links[edit]