Heart of Louisiana: Cajun Barbershop - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Heart of Louisiana: Cajun Barbershop

It's hard to tell if people come for the haircuts, the music or the lively conversation. (FOX 8 photo) It's hard to tell if people come for the haircuts, the music or the lively conversation. (FOX 8 photo)
(WVUE) -

Forget the fancy hair stylists. Customers at one Southwest Louisiana barbershop prefer to play Cajun music while they're waiting for a haircut. FOX 8's Dave McNamara takes us to a one-of-a kind barbershop in the town of Lake Arthur in tonight's Heart of Louisiana

It's easier to look for the pickup trucks than it is to find the modest sign in front of Ray's Barbershop, tucked away in a quiet neighborhood in the town of Lake Arthur. Ignore the “closed” sign in the window, and let the sound of a live Cajun band pull you inside.

It's hard to tell if people come for the haircuts, the music or the lively conversation.

Customer: “Is that red light working?”

Customer: “I was too much in a hurry to stop and wait on the red light. It was slow, so I passed it.”

“I come for the haircut,” Mark Conner said.

McNamara: “Is he a good barber?”

“Yeah. If he wasn't, I wouldn't be here,” Conner answered.

Ray Marcantel has been cutting hair since the 1960s. The music thing just happened one Saturday morning a couple of years ago.

“It was just two of us - the drummer, and Mr. Broussard here played the accordion,” Marcantel said.

“He had a black accordion that he wanted me to try it out, and I started playing on it,” said August Broussard.

“So I gave him the rhythm, and we kept going from there,” said Glen Leblanc. “The next thing we know, there's a whole bunch of people wanted to come over here. And one time we had 17 of us in here.”

Broussard is in the Cajun Hall of Fame for his accordion prowess.

“I've enjoyed playing music all my life in bars and places like that, but to me, I enjoy this more than anything else,” Broussard said.

And now, Broussard gives lessons to younger players.

“This is our culture,” Marcantel said. “This is what we do here. “This is all they know - French music. “They play a little rock 'n roll, [but] it's mainly French. Cajun French.”

In addition to the barbershop and Cajun jam sessions, Marcantel was recently elected police chief of Lake Arthur.

“It works out pretty good,” he said. “We don't have major crimes over here, just a lot of drunks.”

“You ought to serve beer here and make more money,” Conner said.

McNamara: “And after hearing a song, I had to ask what it was all about.”

“‘No salt in the beans, no salt in the beans,' that's about it,” Broussard said. “Most of your Cajun songs, the words repeat themselves a lot, you know?”

You don't have to understand French to know that Saturday mornings are a lot of fun at this Cajun barbershop.

You can hear the Cajun music jams at Ray's Barbershop every other Saturday morning - and feel free to bring your own accordian, guitar or fiddle and join in.

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