LA Folklife banner

Thibodeaux, Waylon

thibodeauxW

Cajun Fiddler

Many of Cajun music's best known performers are from the rural prairies of southwest Louisiana. Cajun recording artist Waylon Thibodeaux, dubbed "Louisiana's Rockin' Fiddler," is a native of the Bayou Country just a few miles southwest of New Orleans. Born and raised in Houma, Louisiana, he speaks French and English. He began playing music at the age of 8 and has been performing professionally since he was 13 years old. In 1984, at the age of 16, he was named Louisiana's State Fiddle Champion. That same year he accompanied the Dusenberry Family Singers on a tour of France as their lead fiddler. He plays not only the fiddle but also bass, guitar, triangle, scrubboard, and drums.

He regularly entertains capacity crowds in New Orleans' famous Bourbon Street clubs as well as at festivals and dances. He says of his music, "It's a mixture--it's Cajun, but not too traditional, it's zydeco with a pinch of New Orleans sound, a small pinch of South Louisiana swamp pop, and a little rock-and-roll, that's sure to get you on your feet and dancing."

His last three Mardi Gras Records albums, Cajun Festival (1992); Best of Cajun (1993); and Like a Real Cajun (1995), sold over 40,000 copies. In addition, three of his original compositions were included on a compilation album titled Margaritaville Cafe New Orleans--Late Night Gumbo. He also recorded an album titled Dans la Lousiane with fiddler Gina Forsyth.

Waylon recorded, mixed, sang, and played all the instruments on his album Best of Cajun. His most recent recording, Like A Real Cajun, features a lively mix of original and traditional Cajun French and English compositions.

He has played throughout the United States, Canada, France, and Central and South America. He has performed with internationally known musicians and groups like Beausoleil, Jo-El Sonnier, Jimmy C. Newman, Evangeline, and Tony Orlando.

Photograph of Waylon Thibodeaux courtesy of Mardi Gras Records, Inc.