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Doing it by Themselves

The Magnolia Sisters, a Cajun music band comprised of four diversely talented singers and instrumentalists, will perform in concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12 at the new Syracuse Center for the Performing Arts, 728 East Genesee St., Syracuse. Presented by the Cultural Resources Council (CRC), these ladies give a woman's voice to the music of southwest Louisiana while keeping a form hold on its soulful and gutsy roots.

The group has evolved from its founding members, Ann Savoy and Jane Vidrine into its current configuration which includes Lisa Trahan Reed and Anya Schoenegge.

The music of the Magnolia Sisters reflects years of collecting and singing old songs and associating with Cajun and Creole masters. Each member of the band plays several instruments allowing them to perform everything from hardcore Cajun standards to primitive Creole numbers and beyond.

The band has recorded four CDs: Prends Courage, 1995; Arhoolie Records Chers Amis, 2000; Rounder Records Apres Faire le Boogie Woodie, 2004 and Rounder Records Lapin, Lapin-Chansons Cajuns et Creoles Pour Les Enfants, 2005.

Each recording includes Cajun standards, riotous swingband numbers, blues, acapella ballads, fiddle duets, some slightly altered to reflect a woman's point of view. Many of the pieces are rare-outside of the repertoire normally heard today in dancehalls and festival venues.

Additionally, accordionist/vocalist Ann Savoy recently released a duet CD with Linda Ronstadt.

For ticket and other information about this weekend's concert, contact Dan Ward at the CRC at 435-8554.

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