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March 07, 2014


Phi Woodbury

As always, written with passion and skill. You must always be torn between the urge to record the sights, sounds, names, and stories and your desire to jump into the middle of the dance floor and experience the moment. I'm sure you do both. These stories made me look up the date for Mardi Gras 2015 (Feb. 17) and start to plot how to be in SW Louisiana around that time. And in 2019 Mardi Gras falls on my birthday.

Ray Abshire

You nailed it buddy. Thank you for supporting Louisiana music and, by all means, come by the band stand next time you are in town.

Cathleen Cavanaugh

Hi PAul,

I always love reading your writings, but I especially loved these 2. I felt like I was at Fred's, and could hear the music and felt the crowds. And the description of Bonsoir Catin was the same. I have never been to Mardi Gras, but your descriptions gave me a great feel for it!

Hope you are still there enjoying!

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr aka pt at large

Hi Cathleen,
I had a blast, it's so much fun trying to paint a picture of what the experiences are like. I'm so glad the stories give you enough a sense of what it's like to live them. One week went by in a flash. Thanks for commenting.

carole blossom

Sorry to hear about Al Berard's passing. From reading about him on your site, sounds like he was a legend in his time, loved by everyone who came in contact with him & his passing was celebrated with the same music he loved brought to life with your amazing skills. Again, you have captured the essence of the good times had by all. Your videos sounded amazing, even the one you apologized for "poor quality" was great. Your videos got me in the mood for dancin'. The stories made me feel like I was there enjoying the vibes. Thanks for continuing bringing these places to life as you have a knack of doing :)

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr aka pt at large

Great compliment to feel that the pictures I paint with words bring the stories to life for you, Carole. Glad you enjoyed the videos too!

Lori Leger

Fabulous article, Paul! You captured the spirit of Fred's. I can tell you that Bobby Hebert is from Gueydan (pronounced Gay-don) ...understandable error, given the noise inside the building. I know this because he is my cousin, (Hebert is my maiden name) and I am also originally from there. I found this article while researching for a book I'm writing...I had no idea Fred's was only open on the Monday before Mardi Gras, other than the Saturday morning radio broadcasts. I thought they were also open on Mardi Gras. So you kept me from making a huge faux pas in my story. Merci beaucoup!

Karen H Theriot

Hey Paul. Lori sent a message informing of my picture with you outside of Fred's in your blog. I'm honored you used it. You captured Fred's to a T. I enjoyed meeting you. Take care. Don't stop dancing.
Karen H Theriot

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr aka pt at large

Hi Karen,
You bet I'll keep dancing. One of the most fun places to do it is at Fred's!

For a resident of Gueydan to say that a guy from Boston captured the spirit of Fred's Lounge is a great compliment. Thanks, Karen, I'll look for you there next year.
(It was so crowded inside,we didn't have room to take a photo! We dashed outside for the photo opp:) You told me your name then I couldn't read some of my scribbled notes, glad you sent this along).

Karen H Theriot

April 25, 2014
Bon jour bon ami,

Gueydan has a deep French history, but I think the population now is under 1200. It’s a dying community dependent on the oil field and farming, which has both changed drastically since Hurricane Rita.

Gueydanites are used to having to travel distances for everything from doctor visits, shopping and entertainment. I can’t imagine anyone from south Loueezeeana not knowing about Fred’s. As a matter a fact, that was my first Lundi Gras experience at Fred’s. All my friends went for years and was raising 4 children so I never went. Fred’s is a local, regional, and national treasure and the only place I know of with Lundi Gras early afternoon dancing. I wanted to experience Ray on Lundi Gras and brought my daughter for her first time ever at Fred’s.

Last night I experienced Zachary Richard for the first time at Festival Internationale, and Sonny Landreth played awhile with him. I was in heaven.

Lori Leger

Posted April 23, 2014
Honestly, I never even heard of Fred's until I married my second husband and moved to Kinder in '94. My husband, Mike, speaks fluent Cajun French. His parents were from Basile and Iota, and his dad barely spoke English. Mike, whose ex-wife was a Mamou native, can't remember how long Fred's has been packing the house on Saturday mornings...a good while before I moved here. Louisiana is separated into regions: Mamou is considered the Prairie region (Mamou, Ville Platt, Eunice), Gueydan is part of the Acadiana Region, where the majority of Cajuns still live I think. Lafayette is the heart of that region. Then you have the Baton Rouge area, which is I don't know what. West of Baton Rouge, they know how to cook a good gumbo...east of there, they start to put chunks of tomatoes in it. SACRILEGE for any respectable Cajun. East of Baton Rouge, you find lots of Creole influence (New Orleans). Houma is half in and half out of that region--kind of their own little region. Kinder, is considered part of southwest Louisiana region with Lake Charles as the largest city. Red Bone region starts about 30 miles north of Kinder, somewhere between Oberlin and Oakdale. North Louisiana, (Alexandria, Monroe, Shreveport) and the areas around there, all have that red-neck twang you'll hear in East Texas and Arkansas, Mississippi.

When I was growing up we didn't celebrate Mardi Gras. We had a few people riding around on horses but no parade, nothing like that. THAT was for big cities, like New Orleans and Lake Charles.

As it happens, Mike said he's only set foot in Fred's for about two minutes, once. I'm not a Mardi Gras party girl, so I've never been, but my children have all attended the Lundi Gras in Mamou. They couldn't get inside but partied out in the street.

Now, in the Gueydan/Kaplan/Abbeville/Lafayette area, ask anyone about the world famous City Bar in Maurice, LA, or Dupuy's Seafood restaurant or Black's Oyster Bar in Abbeville...and they'll be able to tell you all about those landmarks. ;)

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