The Breaux Bridge, La.-based Cajun ensemble Balfa Toujours is one of many great family acts at the Newport Folk Festival this year. Led by Christine Balfa, the daughter of The Balfa Brothers' Dewey Balfa, Balfa Toujours plays a brand of Cajun music that avoids feeling costumed or anachronistic, even as it stays in touch with a long tradition of revivalism.
The Balfa Brothers played together for nearly 40 years starting in the 1940s, spreading Cajun music to audiences across the U.S., including a huge crowd at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. After Dewey Balfa's death in 1992, Christine and her sister Nelda began to write songs in his memory, and put out their first record as Balfa Toujours in 1993. In the lineup that plays today, Christine handles rhythm guitar while her husband, Dirk Powell, plays accordion; Kevin Wimmer plays fiddle; and Courtney Granger plays bass. The band's most recent recording is Live at Whiskey River Landing.