Now I don’t know if this will be anywhere near as decent as the other stuff or if one would even care, but I enjoyed the story so I figured I’d share. Look at me, going all Doctor Seuss right there.
Recently I’ve been doing my best to avoid all outside news; if it doesn’t happen in my world, I do not know or wish to give it my time. Too much is happening today that has people up in arms while no one is living in the world they are sharing with their neighbor. That world ain’t so bad, and if we were all to slow down a second and focus on our own backyards, the big picture would fix itself… sorry, didn’t mean to get preachy there. So, this has meant a steady diet of CDs and commercial free independent radio stations, which kind of worked out because I had put together an Independent/College Local Radio Station Guide for the Uniting With Music. It has come in handy but it also means I only get my average radio station’s signal about as far as your one armed uncle could throw a ball with his “other” hand. I’m on an expedition for work and find myself to the furthest reaches of the northern-most part of Connecticut that somehow feels further north than the Yukon. When in a strange land, it’s good to remember to do as those Romans. I did the logical thing and asked one of the “Romans” of the land where one would procure good music that was independent or commercial free. They responded with the station of their people, WWUH 91.3 FM, so I tuned in. It was a solid little station with a rather solid signal. It carried me back to the boarder of my city, which was all I needed, and I was able to return to the music of classic on one of the largest independent classical radio station groups, (they play more than classical but it doesn’t hurt to be cultured, yeah, I’m talking to you) WMNR 88.1 FM in Monroe CT – check out their live stream. Before I changed the dial to WMNR, I locked in WWUH 91.3 to a button. I always hate when you find a great station on a trip and can’t remember it when you return, so knowing I would be that way someday soon, I locked it in.
Now let’s flash forward; it’s a week later. We’re in the future of then, but the past of now. I find myself south of the North of Nowhere, CT but I am still out of range of all my usual stations. I try WWUH and wouldn’t you know? It works. The station is playing everything from classic hits all the way down the charts to nowhere-near hits, but every song they played hit the mark. After a while, this song comes on; it’s like New Orleans bright jazz-style music, fused with a good blues band, all tied together with an accordion and some of the most upbeat, non-pandering lyrics I’ve heard in new music in quite a while. It’s just a guy and his band having a good time, playing a good tune, and you can hear the fun they’re having through the music they play. I grabbed a pen and an envelope I had in my truck and wrote down the chorus, “…I’m on a roll, can’t stop me now…” I had meant to search the lyrics to find the artist when I got home but forgot all about it by the time my day was over.
Let’s jump forward two days now; nothing’s changed as far as timeline goes. This is still just a story so it has happened in the past already. I’m still singing that song in my head; I can hear the accordion riff and I get to thinking I can’t remember the last time a new song got wedged between my ear holes for that long. I decide when I get home I’m finally going to look this band/guy up. (Now, spoiler alert – this is the most fantastical part of the whole story…) I actually freaking remember to look it up after I get home…I know, surprised even myself. Turns out, he’s Corey Ledet and the album’s name is called Zydeco. Knowing nothing more other than I really enjoyed the song, I decide to make a blind faith purchase. I say in my head, I’m going to support him and buy the album. I click the drop down tab and go to select CD when I realized he made a cassette available. Well, I recently got an old pickup with a tape-deck in it and also respected the fact he was still representing cassettes so I end up buying both of them. The only place the record is available is on a local Louisiana recording labels website called Nouveau Electric Records. While the situation may have been odd, the site looked clean enough and I’d heard the dude’s music on the radio so it must be legit, I thought, and went through with the purchase.
That was Sunday; as the week progressed, nothing turned up. I’m not the best at communicating with technology since my job has me outside all day every day. By Saturday, I’m at work and I think to myself, “Okay, if I don’t have an e-mail from them I have to reach out just to check and make sure everything’s good.” The next day is Easter Sunday, so I know I’m not getting a response until Monday, but like I said, I have too much stuff to do that I need do something before I forget. That, and I probably wouldn’t check my e-mail until next Sunday, so there really wasn’t a rush.
Another time jump; the time frame on this story is like a roller coaster. It’s midday Easter Sunday. I am just hanging around, not doing anything, and I recall the e-mail I sent the night before. I decide to poke in to check on my e-mail, not expecting anything, just looking to burn a few minutes of the day. To my surprise, I have a very nicely written e-mail from a man named Louis; he is from the recording studio Nouveau Electric Records, explaining the delay. I was more than fine with the delay with what went on; I just wanted to make sure it would eventually be getting on its way to me and I didn’t mess something up. Quite frankly, I was blown away that the guy would take time out of his Easter celebrations to respond to a random customer of two items. We proceed to have a short e-mail conversation back and forth on Easter, exchange goodbyes, or “Mercis,” as Louis called it, and he said keep an eye out for a shipping notification on Tuesday.
Time is traveling along so briskly at this point in the story that Tuesday flies by without even saying, “Hello,” and with that, I forget to look. However, after that exchange on Easter, I thought Louis was just a solid good guy and was confident it was coming. I was being optimistic on the situation.
The rest of the week moves by just as quick, and I keep telling myself, “I trust the guy, a person’s probably out with a bug or something.” However, when Friday night rolled along, I finally said I might want to check my e-mail since there was no package on the porch. I sat down at my desktop and not only did I have a confirmation number, but its status read, “Confirmed – Delivered – in my mailbox.” I spring up and head down the stairs like a kid on Christmas, if that kid was 100 years old and had three bad knees…don’t ask. So, I go to the mailbox. There is a package that looks like it was beaten in order to make it fit in my mailbox. I get the USPS is a thankless job, especially with how stingy people are at tipping today, but please stop taking it out on my packages. I only order like one thing every six months I’m not like the others….
Sorry…. got off track there for a second. Besides the clear physical assault the package had taken, it was in a weird shape for what should have been a CD and a cassette. As I return to the indoors, I squeeze the package like it’s a present on your birthday, wondering if through the course of the ass-whooping my mailman clearly laid upon my package upon delivery, did they actually crush the CD? I wondered, why else would the package be bulging round yet slightly disfigured? I get inside, now almost convinced they somehow bent the CD casing and it being wedged into my mailbox all day had it permanently warped. However, I hadn’t yet fully convinced myself because it didn’t feel right. Maybe it was something else? It didn’t feel like there was a CD or a cassette in the package I was holding. Maybe I just missed the actual package? Could’ve just fallen off my front porch, or got delivered to the neighbors.
Well, this story continues inside now. It’s late and I’m about to fall asleep, so, I have to find out. In the more quick than slower territory of speed, I tear open the package…pause for suspense…inside is not only an undamaged compact disc, an undamaged cassette, oh, and…exciting, isn’t it?…a spice blend by the musician of the one Corey Ledet – not bad flavor either.
Now, up until now that point, the whole time you have only been reading what they call in the biz “build up” or “backstory”. This is the reason I’m telling you this tale and it becomes a story. You take the exchange between strangers, on a holiday no less, that would’ve never otherwise met each other, that were lead to random encounter by way of a found radio station that I never would have found if a friend had not recommended the station all those moons ago, all while looking to support a musician and getting a really fun album in return for that support. It is, when you think about it, a special kind of power that music has and what truly makes music great. It really does feel like a bit of folks Uniting With Music, even if it’s just for a couple of small moments that don’t amount to much. I got it all, the story, a really fun album, and a tasty spice blend (Corey Ladet Zydeco’s Accordion Dragon Spices: “Taste the Dragon’s Fire”) I haven’t tried it enough to give it a final verdict, but so far we slapped it on some oven fries and it was pretty tasty. I’ll be keeping it in the cabinet for now. Moral of the story, be open to new music outside of what the computer picks for you based on thumbs ups. There is a whole world of music out there for you to discover. Jump around the dial a bit or see what others are listening to. Who knows? You might’ve been a classical geek this whole time. This guy made an album in 2020, what other artist did that? Corey’s doing it for the love of the game and I really do enjoy it.
If your interested in getting yourself a copy of the album or just checking out Corey Ledet you can check him out there –
P.S. – The seasoning blend is quickly becoming a regular addition to things in the kitchen here, here’s hoping it’s not that expensive.