The legacy of late Cajun fiddler Dewey Balfa continues through the music of his daughter Christine and her band Balfa Toujours. The group combines the classic acoustic bayou sound with full-on enthusiasm and front-porch intimacy. Christine grew up playing triangle with her father and absorbed music and language from the thriving culture around Basile, Louisiana. Her singing is full of the raw emotion that enables the best Cajun singers to communicate powerful feelings directly to the heart. She collaborates on many of the group’s heartfelt original songs and is the founder and director of Louisiana Folk Roots, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Louisiana traditions.
Christine and her sister Nelda played guitar as youngsters and often jammed with their father and uncles, not dreaming of a musical career until their father’s death in 1992. In the aftermath of his passing, they began writing songs to express their sorrow. After they had written nine tunes, they recorded a tape to pass along to family members. Their debut album, Pop, Tu Me Parles Toujours, was produced by Al Tharpe of Beausoleil and released in 1993.
Following the release of their second album, A Vielle Terre Haute, in 1994, Nelda left the group to focus on her career as a hairdresser. Balfa Toujours has since grown from a band known for its youth and passion into pillars of the traditional music community not only in Louisiana but throughout the folk music world. They’ve recorded six CDs, appeared in numerous films and television shows, toured the world and enjoyed front cover features in magazines like Dirty Linen and Offbeat. Balfa Toujours cross many boundaries and perform in a wide array of styles, from rocking dancehalls to crowded festivals to informative concerts, without ever losing the “joie de vivre” that epitomizes their culture. It is for this ability to unite it all and keep the soul intact that the preeminent expert on Louisiana culture, Barry Ancelet, calls the band “the future of Cajun Music.”