It’s easy to “pass a good time” in Cajun country, especially if you’re here at the weekend, when the fais-do-dos are traditionally held, or during any of its many festivals. Cajun music is a jangling, infectious melange of nasal vocals backed by jumping accordion, violin and triangle, fuelled by traces of country, swing, jazz and blues. Zydeco is similar, but sexier, more blues-based, and usually played by black Creole musicians. Though songs are in French, the patois heard in both bears only a passing resemblance to the language spoken in France. Music is never performed without space for dancing; everyone can join in. As well as the popular restaurants Café des Amis and Prejean’s, plus the Blue Moon Guest House, venues include record stores, river landings and the streets themselves. Sadly, old-time zydeco dance halls are dying out, but a few still exist. Check the music listings in the free weekly Times of Acadiana (theadvertiser.com) or Independent (theind.com); log onto zydecoonline.com, or simply look for signs saying “French dance here tonight”.

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