Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Martin Accordion Factory, May 2

I'm  in Cajun country with lots of Cajun music and zydeco music, most to the beat of a two step or waltz (um pa pa)  so it seemed  appropriate  to visit an accordion factory.  The accordion generally is what makes Cajun and zydeco uniquely different.  You can take a country western song and add the washboard and "squeeze box" and all of the sudden it sounds Cajun or zydeco.  However, I was to find out that the accordion was not always part of Cajun or Zydeco music.  It was originally a German instrument and most likely  introduced into Cajun and Zydeco by the French.  Judy had found the Martin Accordion factory located in Lafayette and called and made arrangements to take a tour. Tours are only given to large groups, but we were able to tag a long with a small bus tour group.

The tour turned out to be more than a tour, but more of a concert. and a history lesson.  The Cajun and zydeco type accordions are made at the factory by several generations of the Martins.  Joel Martin, the grandson is an accomplished musician and is very talented on the accordion.  He gave a walk through the history of Cajun and Zydeco music for over an hour which went flying by.

 Three generations of the Martin family perform Cajun and Zydeco music.
 Joel Martin is extremely talented and plays Zydeco and Cajun. He started playing the piano when he was seven and later learned to play the accordion and other instruments. He is playing a Zydeco accordion in the above picture. The Zydeco accordion has more buttons than the Cajun.  Each accordion is specifically tuned to a certain  key.  If the music changes key, then and different accordion is used.

Each accordion is hand made and customized with unique embellishments. for the buyer

The crawfish is the Martin logo.
Steel guitar which is used in Cajun and zydeco music.
 Steel reads in the accordion

 Button holes
Crawfish logo for the Martin Accordions.

The accordions are hand made at the Martin Factory.  Some of the specialty wood is imported, but most are made from maple wood and stained different colors.  The steel reeds are also imported from Italy.  Everything else is hand made by the Martins in their shop.  The pieces of the accordion are glued together piece by piece.  The nails and screws are only used for attaching ornaments and embellishments.  Each accordion is unique and the price is based on the type of wood and other ornamentation.  The price tag starts at around $2,400.

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