20 Years Happy In The Bewilderness


The Bayou Seco band is lead by Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie. Twenty-five members of the family play on this disc along with Ken and Jeanie, who have kept the band going for 20 years, and who now live in Silver City, NM. This disc is a retrospective of that time, taken from many live gigs, recording sessions, a radio programm old releases and newer DAT recordings. This is music learned from old masters and friends. It’s for sharing around, and dancing in the kitchen.



Ramona Ortiz, wife of Cleofes Ortiz, the fine New Mexico fiddler from Bernal, used to say to us, “I never think I come to such a Bewilderness.’ Ken and Jeanie are happy to be in such a place.

The Bayou Seco band is lead by Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie. Twenty-five members of the family play on this disc along with Ken and Jeanie, who have kept the band going for 20 years, and who now live in Silver City, NM. This disc is a retrospective of that time, taken from many live gigs, recording sessions, a radio programm old releases and newer DAT recordings. This is music learned from old masters and friends. It’s for sharing around, and dancing in the kitchen.

All titles Public Domain except where noted.
1 SILVER CITY 2-STEP 2:40 3/5/02
2 QUAND LE SOLEIL 3:51 7/86
3 LE BLUES ME PREND © (J.McLerie) 3:16 9/3/01
4 BLACK ROUX GUMBO TIME © (K.Keppeler) 2:26 3/20/87
5 CHANSON DU MARCHE © (J. McLerie) 3:33 3/5/02
6 FROMAGE DE CHEVRE BLUES(Keppeler/Rangell) 4:01 7/98
8 TAKE IT TO ME 4:10 7/86
9 BOSCO STOMP 4:31 3/20/87
10 MONEY IS KING © Nelson Marcano 2:54 7/86
11 BLUE ON MONDAY ©Lotus Dickey Music 3:52 3/20/95
12 CZARDAS 4:12 5/83
13 EL QUELITE 3:27 7/86
15 LOVE ABIDES © (Tom Russell) 4:39 9/19/99
© Jane Voss-(Obscure Origins Music-BMI)
19 SIX ANS SUR MER 1:59 7/17/00
21 BONSOIR MOREAU 3:07 6/5/99
1. Silver City 2 Step – Cactus’ and alligators happily two-stepping in the dry gulch.
2. Quand le Soleil – A French Canadian song we learned from the Rogues. From our 1986 NO BORDERS UBIK cassette.
3. Le Blues Me Prend – An old standby of mine. I love the live Music in the Park (it’s about to rain and the wind is acting up, and the power may go off) feel of this one. Dennis and Rus, our La Mesilla, NM, wing, fill it out beautifully.
4. Black Roux Gumbo Time – Ken was inspired by the great chef Françoise, at the Courtyard Kitchen in the late 80”s in Albuquerque. Her gumbo was tops. This was recorded for the Courtyard Kitchen Video.
5. La Chanson du Marché – I wrote this in honor of Farmers Markets everywhere. I love to share music amidst all that beautiful food and the hard working people. Thanks Philippe Pierson for inspiration and Florence Goulesque for the corrections.
6. Fromage de Chèvre Blues – Ken and Paul got nostalgic one very late night at “le Grand Bal de l’Europe” in central France. near Moulins. Dany caught it on mini disc. Didier, a great Gascogne fiddler, was there with his mandolin as well.
7. Happy “Bewilderness” One Step – This amazing tune is from the late great Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee. It was a magic tune for me and opened the door to Louisiana, and to meeting Ken, and a whole world of wonderful people and music. Our Cajun yells pegged the meter. Supply your own.
8. Take It To Me – Trance music! Ken learned this song from Bee Fontenot. The Late 80’s Bayou Seco band- Terry, Karl, Chris, Duke & Janet give it that raw sound that we love.
9. Bosco Stomp – Don’t make promises you can’t keep!
10. Money Is King – From the Growling Tiger in Trinidad in the 1930’s comes this timeless wisdom.
11. Blue On Monday – Delta Sister Frannie Leopold and I love this Lotus Dickey song. It is a lot of fun, as well as a challenge to sing.
12. Czardas – Paul, Emily, Ken and I recorded this Hungarian tune with Stewart Mennin for our first cassette release, CACTUS GUMBO and ALLIGATOR ENCHILADAS on Blue Guitar Productions. It still kicks you know what.
13. El Quelite – This is a N.M. classic. We first learned it as a waltz from Erminio Cruz at the Wagon Mound School. Quelites (lamb’s quarters) are wild spinach.“Keep me in your thoughts, even though I leave here tomorrow.” April, now Marj, sang the nice harmony.
14. Valse de José y Raphaelita – This lovely waltz was played by Antonia Apodaca at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, in honor of her parents, who taught her how to play the accordeon and guitar. She has taught us so much about N.M. music, cooking, and life, and we love her very much.
15. Love Abides – Dave Bryan sings this Tom Russell song beautifully. We were live on The Back Porch – KRWG Radio – in Las Cruces – with David Brower, a fine interviewer now on WUNC in Chapel Hill, NC.
16. Dawn/High Note Chotis – We learned these tunes from Elliott Johnson in Cababi, Az. He was an excellent Tohono O’odham fiddler whom we were lucky to know and study with. Scott Mathis and Linda Askew visited there with us many times. The warm starlit nights of music with Elliott and his family under the Ocotillo ramada, puncuated by children jumping on the outdoor beds, cows mooing, and dogs barking, will forever accompany the music in my heart. And we won’t forget those huge paper thin tortillas and the fabulous chile. The Saguaros were dancing all around us. Jefferson added the necessary drum sound with aplomb.
17. The Thing That Makes You Beautiful – Jane Voss wrote this classic, and my sister Susie and I sang it the day after Christmas, with Ken and Paul helping out. We were at the Wimmer/White Orchid Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. It goes out to all of you.
18. Una Noche Serena Y Oscura – Cleofes Ortiz and I played this on our fiddles, and Emily Abbink sang with us at Port Townsend, Washington in a concert in the big tent. It is an old favorite amongst the senior citizen population in NM.
19. Six Ans Sur Mer – I learned this ancient Cajun ballad (with roots many centuries back in France and England) from a 1934 Lomax recording of the Hoffpair Sisters. Here I am joined by Philippe Pierson and Doumé Parent and others, in a rollicking pub session way out on the coast of beautiful Brittany, just south of Brest where some sailors possibly lived out ordeals such as this.
20. Reed’s Waltz/Courville Breakdown – Ken and I learned these two fantastic tunes from Dennis McGee on our back screened porch at the Buvette, the little house we lived in behind Mark and Ann Savoy when we stayed in Louisiana. Dennis was a total inspiration to us and shared his music and spirit generously.
21. Bonsoir Moreau – We learned this from Canray Fontenot and Bois Sec Ardoin, two of the most open hearted and wonderful people we could ever know. “Good night Moreau, it is time to go. We have had a good time, but the moon has gone down and the sun is rising, and we must go home and milk the cow.” Terry on bass, Jefferson on percussion, Blake on saxophone, and Scott on triangle on a hot June evening downtown at the Albuquerque Summerfest . Thousands of people out on the Civic Plaza, dancing and having fun. This is one of many things our music has always been good for.
It was very hard to go through so much material and find a representation of 20 Years of Bayou Seco’s music. We purposely did not include anything from the more recent CD’s that are still in print. We just tried to give a feeling of what we are as a band in any format, from the two of us (Mom and Pop), to a big group. We never spent much time in studios, never were picked up by a major label, but have managed to earn a living from music, from performances, and teaching many, many children how to play fiddle (Jeanie), and making more than 150 violins, Ken (with his partner Peter White). We are fortunate to travel far and wide with our music. For the past 5 years we have been building a house of blocks, made of a mixture of recycled styrofoam and cement, in Silver City, N.M. We live a very interesting and good life. JMcL & KK
Ken Keppeler – Diatonic 1 & 3 row and chromatic accordeons on all but #18; fiddle: #6,12,16,20; vocals: #1,4,6,8; gtr: #14
Jeanie McLerie – Lead vocals, Keppeler/White 5 string fiddles (CGDAE,CFCGD) on all but #6; guitar: #5,12,15;
harmony vocals: #5,11,13,18
a. Paul Rangell – guitar, mandolin and vocals – #6,11,12,17
b. Emily Abbink – vocals, rubboard – #12,18
c. Stewart Mennin – clarinet – #12
d. Terry Bluhm – lead guitar or acoustic bass – #2,4,8,10,13,21
e. Karl Stalnaker – Fender bass – #2,4,8,10,13
f. Chris Altenbach – rhythm guitar – #2,4,8,9,10,13
g. Janet Harman – vocals, saxophone, rubboard – #2,10,13
h. Marj Mullany(April) – harmony vocals – #13
i. Duke Dewey – percussion – #2,8,10,13
j. Manny Rettinger – rubboard – #4
k. Dominique Parent and Philippe Pierson – vocals – #19
l. Rus Bradburd – fiddle & Dennis Daily – guitar – #3
m. Scott Mathis – mandolin,triangle – #16,21
n. Linda Askew – guitar – #16
o. Jefferson Voorhees – percussion – #16,21
p. M. Mueller – triangle – #20
q. Blake Minnerly – saxophone – #21
r. Dave Bryan – lead vocal – #15
s. Susie McLerie – harmony vocal – #17
t. Antonia Apodaca – diatonic accordeon – #14
u. Frannie Leopold – lead vocal and guitar – #11
v. Cleofes Ortiz – lead fiddle – #18
w. Didier Oliver – mandolin – #6
x. Romney – triangle – #9

Words and Translations
LE BLUES ME PREND © Jeanie McLerie (Buvette Music-BMI)
1. Quand le blues me prend, j’peux pleurer, j’peux crier, j’peux me souler. J’peux chanter une triste chanson, travailler dans le jardin, jouer mon violon pour toute la nuit.
2. Oh Quand le blues me prend, il y’a quelque choses que tu peux faire, tu peux me serrer bien forte dans tes bras. Et si tu dit que tu m’aime, c’est quelques choses bien mieux, et mes blues s’envole comme un oiseaux.
3. Oh si le blues vous prend, quand le blues vous prend, pas de blâme, pas désespoir, prends donc courage. Comme les grands vents dans un orage, ça passe avec le temps, et le soleil va briller encore une fois.
Translation – When the blues get me, I work out in the garden, play my fiddle all night long, or ask you for a big hug. If the blues get you, don’t worry, a big storm will blow them away and the Sun will come back out.
1.Una noche serena y oscura, cuando amarnos juramos los dos.
Cuando en silencio me distes tu mano, de testigo pusimos a Dios.
2. Las estrellas, el sol y la luna, son testigos que fuistes mi amada;
A hoy que vuelvo te encuentro casada, ¡Ay, qué suerte infeliz me tocó!
3. Soy casada y amarte no puedo, porque así lo dispuso la ley,
Quiero serle constante a mi esposo, en silencio por ti lloraré.
4. Si en denantes hubiera sabido, si en denantes hubiera pensado,
Los trabajos que pasa un estado, ¡Ay, qué suerte infeliz me tocó!
CHANSON DU MARCHÉ – © Jeanie McLerie July 2001
1. Bonjour Messieurs et ‘Dames, nous sommes venus de beaucoup loin, du Nouveau Mexique et d’la Louisianne, pour remplir l’air avec une chanson.
Nous aimons l’ambiance du marché, les jolies couleurs et les gens pas pressés, les paniers vides en arrivant, et maintenant pleins de légumes et d’saucissons.
CHORUS#1: Attention; goûtez nos chansons; (elles) sont fraîches et bonnes, et si vous les aimez beaucoup, vous pouvez nous donner des sous.
2. Z’haricots, les ‘tits pois et les tomates; les aubergines, les courgettes, et les échalottes; le poulet rôti, le paté et les rillettes; tous les poissons, les moules et les huîtres.
Le melon de Cavaillon, les figues, les cerises, et les poivrons; les gâteaux, les croissants ; et les pains spéciaux, z’assiettes en bois, et les Opinels.
CHORUS#2: Le savon de lavande; le miel de la région; le joli tissu Provençal. Et bien sûr les fromages.
3. Chaource, Epoisses et la Tomme de Savoie; les pélardons, les picodons et le palet ardéchois; Bergonette, Brebiou, Chabechou et Cabécou; Boutons de culottes, les crottins de Chavignol;
Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d’Ambert, et St. Agur;
La Pyramide de Berry et le St. Nectaire; Le Port Salut,
Le Pont l’évêque, le brie de Meaux; St. Marcellin dans un pot.
CHORUS#3: Camembert, bien sûr; Coulommiers;
Etorki des Pyrénées; Et Rocamadour ALL NIGHT LONG
CHORUS #4: Attention; les sous sont ronds; ça quitte vos mains; Et tout de suite nous les dépenserons.
CHORUS #5: Attention; goûtez nos chansons; sont fraiches et bonnes; Est-ce-que vous avez des oursins dans vos poches?
1. Hello everyone, we come from far away, New Mexico and Louisiana; to fill up the air with a song. We love the ambiance of the markets, the beautiful colors and the people not in a hurry; empty baskets on arrival are now full of vegetables and sausages.
CHORUS #1: Attention; you can taste our songs; they are fresh and delicious; and if you like them a lot you could give us some coins.
2. Green beans, peas and tomatoes; eggplants, zucchini and shallots; roast chicken, pate and rillettes; all the fish, the mussels and oysters. The melons from Cavaillon; figs, cherries and green peppers; cakes, croissants and special breads; wooden plates and Opinel knives.
3. No need to translate, the names of twenty one kinds of
OTHER CHORUSES #:2: Lavender soap; local honey; lovely Provençal fabric; and of course the many cheeses.
#3:Camembert, of course; Coulommiers ; Etorki des Pyrénées; Et Rocamadour ALL NIGHT LONG
#4: Attention; coins are round; as soon as they leave your hands, we will spend them right here.
#5: Attention, you can taste our songs; they are fresh and delicious; do you have sea urchins in your pockets?

BONSOIR MOREAU 1. Oh Bonsoir Moreau, et j’connais c’est l’heure je m’en va. 2. On a eu un bon temps, un bon temps toute la nuit, et j’connais… 3. Oh la lune après se coucher, et soleil après se lever, et Caillette est pas tiré. Bonsoir Moreau.

SIX YEARS ON THE SEA We were 6 years at sea and had eaten up all the provisions, including the mice and rats. And so we drew straws (to see who would be eaten) and little John picked the short one. He said, ”Courage my friends. Ah but I see land, and 3 white doves, and the 3 daughters of the prince walking along the shore. When I get to shore I will marry the prettiest one.”

THE BAYOU SECO BAND was formed by Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie in 1982 along with Paul Rangell and Emily Abbink in Albuquerque, N.M. Twenty six members of the family play on this disc along Ken and Jeanie, who have kept the band going for 20 years, and who now live in Silver City, N.M. This disc is a retrospective of that time, taken from many live gigs, recording sessions, a radio program, old releases and newer DAT recordings. Due to the archival nature of the originals, there is a large array of sound quality, some free form notes and creative moments, but we hope you will nevertheless enjoy the spirit of the music. This is the music of community and for community, learned from old masters and friends. It’s for sharing around, and dancing in the kitchen.

A Story
Guy came up to me and said, “Who’s the band?” I said, “Bayou Seco.” He leaned back with his elbows on the bar, listened for a while then said, “I am kinda thirsty,” half to himself, half to nobody, turned around spread his hands on the bar, asked, “This place got a bartender?” I said, “Sure, but she’s dancing right now.” He listened some more, said, “There a lot of French people around here?” I said, “There’s a little bit of ever’body in New Mexico.” You could see his horse out the window tied to a parking meter. From the stage the singer said, “It’s a waltz if you care to dance.” He said, “Well, I don’t know if there’s any more room to dance,” smiled, put his hat on the bar, said, “This place is like it used to be.” Mark Weber, Zerxpress

All Rights Reserved © BAYOU SECO 2002
Cover Art: Ken Keppeler Cover design: Howell Graphics
Mastered by Quincy at Q! Productions, Albuquerque, N.M.
Some original recordings entered on computer by
Phil Brown, Silver City, N.M.
Notes: Jeanie McLerie * Layout and printing: Unicorn Press
ZerxRecords, Albuquerque, N.M.: Zerxpress@aol.com
Ramona Ortiz – wife of Cleofes Ortiz, the fine NM fiddler from Bernal, used to say to us, “I never think I come to such a Bewilderness.” Ken and Jeanie are happy to live there.
Recorded by: Ken Keppeler – direct to DAT #1,5,7,17;
Manny Rettinger – UBIK Sound, Albu. #2,4,8,9,10,11,13,16;
Mesilla Valley Music – Las Cruces at Music in the Park #3;
Dany Thielemans live at Grand Bal de l’Europe, Gennetines #6;
Jimmy Borsdorf – Rangell Litho Studio, Albuquerque #12;
Simon Welter live at the Outpost Performance Space #14;
David Brower KRWG Radio – live on The Back Porch # 15;
Live from the board – Pt. Townsend, Wash. #18;
René Paul Bernard – le Donegal, Camaret, Bretagne,France #19
Oliver Knight – PANDA Sound Robin Hood’s Bay, England #20;
Jeanie McLerie – on Stage at Summerfest, Albuquerque #21.


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