Major Handy has been a key figure in keeping blues alive in South Louisiana over the past 50 years. He famously toured as a guitarist in Buckwheat Zydeco's band and released several 45s on Floyd Soileau's Maison Soul label. Earlier this year the legendary Creole musician retired from auto repair, shut down his shop, and was looking forward to focusing all of his attention on music and house projects.
Tragically Handy's house burned down on August 16. Everything he and his wife owned was lost. In an interview with the Acadiana Advocate, Handy remained positive and proclaimed, "It's not a tragedy, it's a loss of stuff." A GoFundMe account to help Major, his wife, and granddaughter was set up by a friend and has now raised close to $10,000 over their set goal of $12,900.
Not surprised, our community has gone further with efforts in helping. Local country outfit Haggard Bucks gave 100% of their proceeds to Handy's family in just one recent instance. The 72-year-old guitarist isn't interested in dwelling on the loss. Handy remarked in the interview with the Advocate, "We’re not looking in the rear-view mirror, we’re looking out the front now.'' That being said, Major is already back to performing with his Soul Express Revue featuring Sharona Thomas.
The group will perform an early evening concert at Artmosphere on Sunday, September 1.
Several tracks from Major Handy kick things off in this edition of Lafayette Weekly. You'll hear his version of the Clifton Chenier classic accordion blues "I'm On The Wonder," as well as his laid back reggae take on the traditional Creole French "Colinda". Songs from Michot's Melody Makers debut Blood Moon, a couple from young local rock duo Sick Ride, and a few by Soul Creole's Corey "Lil Pop" Ledet fill out the rest of this week's playlist.
Live music in Lafayette this week
Friday, August 30 at 8:00 pm
Magnolia Shed Fest Kick-Off with VIETNAM, Traverse, BLEACH,
Terence Delaine, and SICK RIDE