BASILE, La. (WVUE) - The flat land of Southwest Louisiana’s Cajun prairie is famous for a few things -- its rice fields, crawfish farms, spicy food and music. And also, for a certain restaurant, complete with dance floor and live music.
“My husband. who was D.I., was the first one in this area to start farming crawfish,” said Sherry Fudge, who has gone from hairdresser to restaurant owner. “The market got saturated so the price dropped, and so we started boiling out crawfish in our farm building by our house. Five bucks, all you can eat.”
D.I’s Cajun Restaurant opened in 1986.
“We had someone come from China one time and they had a handbook, and in that handbook, all I understood was D.I.'s. And they showed me, it said 'When you go to Louisiana, this is the restaurant you need to go to," Fudge said. "That was pretty awesome.
But there is something else cooking here weekly -- live bands and a Wednesday night jam session.
“You learn all the old tunes,” said Fred Charlie, who grew up with the music and speaking French. "That’s why I went to school to learn English as a foreign language, because all i spoke was French. I’ve been doing Cajun music all my life. I’ve been loving it all my life.
The jam session keeps up a tradition of folk music, where the songs are not written down, but passed down.
“We had some people here that used to come here, 80-year-old men playing accordion. Take a 12-year-old and bring them to one of the tables, and sit down with them side-by-side and, and they’d show them some licks on the accordion,” Charlie said. “Where else can you do that? That is history being made.”
It’s music that draws fans here from all over the world.
“First of all, when you hear Cajun music, it’s going to make you tap your foot and it’s going to make you want to dance and nobody has more fun than people that want to dance and have a good time,” Charlies said. “When the music and the food married, it was a great marriage.”
And you can still enjoy that honeymoon, which not only makes for a tasty mix of food and music, but also breathes new life into a rich Cajun culture.
D.I.'s Cajun Restaurant is located in Basile, La. and those jam sessions are held every Wednesday night. Visit their website for more information: http://www.discajunrestaurant.com/