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Berard, Al and the Basin Brothers

Cajun Band from Atchafalaya River Basin

From the heart of the great Atchafalaya River Basin comes down-home music--music to feed the soul and satisfy the heart, not to mention the feet. Al Berard, along with Errol Verret, manages their band, "The Basin Brothers." Al Berard began playing music at the age of eleven. He learned many of his tunes from recordings by legendary Cajun musicians Dennis McGee and Dewey Balfa.

The music of the Basin Brothers reflected their rich Cajun heritage and native Louisiana homeland. "The Basin Brothers" grew up along the edge of the Atchafalaya River Basin, a huge swampland laced with bayous and the great Atchafalaya River. "The Basin Brothers" played a variety of traditional Cajun music. Their vast repertoire of infectious two-steps, graceful waltzes, and swamp blues spiced with the early sounds of Creole Zydeco is the result of many hours of practice at their camp in the swamp.

The band features Al Berard who sang and played the fiddle, guitar, and mandolin; Errol Verret on accordion; Keith Blanchard on drums; and Dwayne Brasseaux on bass. "The Basin Brothers" were extremely popular in Louisiana and are special favorites of Cajun dance enthusiasts. The band has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 1991, the band received a Grammy nomination for best traditional folk recording for the album "Let's Get Cajun." In 1993, "The Basin Brothers" embarked on their first European tour.

Unfortunately, Al Berard passed away in the year 2014, he will always be thought of through the continuation of playing of his music.

Updated November 17, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff