The Cajun Cowboy and the Stirrups band is pictured here performing during last year’s Mamou Cajun Music Festival. From left to right are Lisa Broussard on bass, Renada Broussard on drums, Gerald Broussard, Jr., on accordion, and Gerald “T-Boy” Broussard, Sr., on steel guitar. (Gazette photo by Tony Marks)
Acadia Parish family enjoys playing Cajun music together
The adage of “a family that prays together stays together” has woven its way into common practice. A variation of “a family that plays Cajun music together stays together” has also been proven true by a family of Broussards from Lyons Point in Acadia Parish.
Gerald Broussard, Sr., who also goes by “T-Boy,” has been playing Cajun Music since he was young. He made his first record when he was 10-years-old with Milton Adams.
“‘T-Boy’s dad L.J. Broussard was a well known fiddle player in the area,” Broussard’s wife Lisa said. “He started playing with his dad in the band when he was nine-years-old, and they quickly became a very well known band and started recording.”
After the Broussards got married, they past Cajun music down to a third generation as their children Renada and Gerald, Jr., started taking up instruments.
“It was always in the blood,” Lisa said. “When our daughter Renada was about 15 or 16-years-old, she started showing interest in the music. We went to a music store and started picking up some steel guitar strings, and she sat on a drum set and started playing the licks and everything. The man said we had to get her some drums because he said he never saw anyone do that.”
“Gerald was little and started playing the drums because he wanted to keep up with his sister, and he eventually started playing the guitar to keep up with his dad,” she continued. “So, whenever we would go to Cajun jams, they would always call him up with his Cowboy boots and hat, and he would sing. He started off singing ‘The Back Door’ and ‘Jambalaya’ when he was two or three-years-old on stage.”
Since then, young Gerald began playing the accordion. He said, “It’s a lot of fun.”
“It amazes people because he’ll play the accordion, sing, and dance, and most people have to concentrate on their instrument,” Lisa said. “But, he’ll get up there and is going to dance and walk in the audience.”
Renada has also mastered her craft by playing drums while touring the country. “That was a fun experience,” she said. “It was nine months on the road. I got to play on the same stage as Kid Rock and other Rock bands. It was nothing like Cajun music and being home. The food was nothing like over here.”
After coming back home to Lyons Point, the Broussard family formed The Cajun Cowboy and the Stirrups with young Gerald being lead singer and playing accordion, his sister on drums, his mom on bass, and his dad on steel guitar.
“It’s hard to learn, and you have to know what you’re doing,” said “T-Boy” about his instrument.
Lisa added, “I think it’s going away because they don’t have many players. A lot of them get discouraged because it’s a difficult instrument.”
Playing music together achieves two objectives for the family. It keeps the Cajun culture going and keeps the family together.
“It’s our heritage and our history,” Lisa said. “We want to pass that on, and we want our kids to know where they come from. It’s special being a family, doing it together, and knowing we have each other’s back.”
“Not only are we proud to be a part of the Cajun music and the heritage, but it’s an honor to do it as a family together,” she continued.”
“T-Boy” concluded, “I love to teach these guys. It’s amazing how they’ve accomplished a lot.”