The lights burn low. A haze of smoke lies in the air. The jukebox spins up with a crackle. The rich vocals of George Jones rattle out of the cabinet. An older couple start a slow shuffle around the edges of the dancefloor. It’s a common scene in the juke joints of Southwestern Louisiana, in the dancehalls where young Cajun musician Courtney Granger grew up. “Some people learned to sing in the church,” he says, “but I learned to sing in bars.” While his family set up for the dance, young Granger was singing along with the country records in the jukebox. Strangely, this is a side of Granger that few of his fans know. One of the most revered young Cajun performers, Courtney Granger grew up deep in the Cajun tradition, the grandnephew of the famed Balfa Brothers, and a part of the late-term revival band Balfa Toujours. He’s heir to the haunting high-lonesome vocal style of Cajun singers, now nearly lost. Granger tours the world as part of the Pine Leaf Boys, and he’s been nominated for three Grammys. But he started singing George Jones before he got to any of the Cajun standards. He owes his earliest interest in music to those dark, smoky dancehalls, and now with his newest album, Beneath Still Waters, out October 14, 2016 on SW Louisiana record label Valcour Records, he’s paying homage to these roots.
Rolling Stone recently said “Courtney Granger brings a George Jones-like authority to the proceedings with his finely-tuned voice.”
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