Crawfish Wallet• A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Crawfish Wallet• A Good Man Is Hard To FindThe first album I heard from Crawfish Wallet was their third, 2022’s Ti Flanboyan, and two years later I still play it on my walks with some regularity. They have that thing that grows on you and stays good. Dave Doyle reviewed their second album, I’m in NOLA for us back in 2020 but I didn’t have the privilege of hearing it at the time. A French band, but with stunning unaccented vocals in English, you would think they were regulars around New Orleans. A Good Man is Hard to Find was recorded while they visited the city last year. They played a few notable venues including Fritzel’s and Mahogany Jazz Hall and their social media shows they met up with members of the Secret Six and their other peers in the city.

Time will tell if this new album grows on me the way the old one did, but signs are pointing to Yes. I have listened to it several times since Bandcamp alerted me of it in March, including walks around the neighborhood that had my head bouncing. The album is a tribute to Lizzie Miles, a New Orleans born creole blues singer who recorded with many of the greats of the ’20s and ’30s, and revived her career in the ’50s with Bob Scobey. The selection of Lizzie Miles gives them a set of great material to work with but not one as constrained as some topical albums. All the titles lean in on the band’s strengths and they make them their own. Amandine Cabald-Roche is an extraordinary singer and their previous albums have explored titles associated with Victoria Spivey, Trixie Smith, and similar sirens of early blues to highlight her talents.

Hot Jazz Jubile

While her presence and singing lifts the band to potential “rock star” status the rest of the quartet is rock solid. Though she was formally trained on classical guitar, Amandine plays washboard while singing. The trombonist, Gaëtan Martin, plays with great emotion, almost creating a duet. Bassist Frédéric Lasnier and banjo Jean-Michel Plassan have a few more years behind them and work together beautifully, the banjo work is a bit more forward on this album with an approach that is mellow and spacious, but that said, the album I have for comparison featured the four accompanied by a trio of cellos!

Titles include, “Grievin’ Mama Blues,” “Lonesome Ghost Blues,” “My Diff’rent Kind of Man” “Take Your Finger Off It,” “If You Can’t Control Your Man,” and an album high point “My Man o’ War.”

Breaking into French on “Basin Street Blues” seems less like a party trick when you actually are French but makes for a meaningful send off to end an album that is easily their best yet. At times it captures the spirit of the recordings Victoria Spivey made with Big Bill Bissonnette in the ’60s. A distinctly New Orleans feeling that is hard to find. It is hard to get a band to come to the States these days but Crawfish Wallet deserves jazz festival bookings at places like Telluride and Newport.


A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Crawfish Wallet

Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of

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