Al Berard in his own words...

 

     "Born here in south Louisiana 1960, I began banging on pots and pans as a child.....started playing the guitar at the age of 11. My first memory of strumming the first chord on a guitar, I knew who I was....a musician. While in high school, I started and performed as lead guitarist in a rock band called “ReFLX”. In 1983, I helped form another group, The Basin Brothers Band, performing country, traditional and original Cajun French music for festivals, clubs, and workshops at numerous locations in the United States and in other countries including Canada, France, and Ireland. My eye opener that returned me home to my culture was a trip I took with the late great Hadley Castille to Winnepeg, Canada. After that concert Hadley was my mentor. He encouraged me to be proud of my roots....He told me to speak my french proudly.....
     Today, I strive to promote and preserve the Cajun culture and music. I enjoy teaching and playing Cajun fiddle and original guitar music. Lately I have been focusing on my own fiddle camp weekend in early April. Also been trying for years to convince myself to release a guitar project.... I guess I’m still not convinced to do that... Maybe one day... :-) 
      I also, enjoying playing music with my daughters Laura and Maegan, my niece Callie and my son in law Adrian Huval... Laura, Maegan and Callie have an incredible band called “The Girls” (Now named Sweet Cecilia) Their harmonies and musicianship are beyond my words...they have been sitting around the house since they are kids singing and playing.... :-)
      I have my own project recording studio in Cecilia, Louisiana, as well as my own publishing company--OPLAMAE Music, BMI. I dabble in all sorts of areas when it comes to music. Scores for movies, film, and television. My works include a variety of styles including contemporary pop, bluegrass, Cajun, rock and roll, and blues. I’m GRATEFUL for the gift of music."   .... AL Berard

 

Awards
AL Berard was  presented a lifetime membership with the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA)
2007   Fiddler of the Year (CFMA awards)
2006   Song of the year (CFMA awards)
2004   Le Cajun Prix Award Of Excellence (CFMA awards)
2003   Nominated “Best Fiddler” by the Cajun French Music Association 
2002   Best Recording Of The Year (CFMA awards)
1992   Cajun French Music Association--“Best Fiddle Recording” for “The Grand Anse Fiddle Song”
1990   The Times Music Award--“Best Country Guitarist”
1989   The Times Music Awards “Best Country/Swamp Pop Guitarist”

 w/ The Basin Brothers
2003   Cajun French Music Association--Nominated for “Best Recording”--“Deux Violons”
1991   Grammy Award Finalist Best Traditional Folk Music for Let’s Get Cajun 


Selected Recordings

The Basin Brothers
2007   Cajun Fiddles (Acadiana ACD 0157) engineer, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, vocals
1996   Dans La Louisiane (Rounder CD 7065) co-producer, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals
1993   Basin Brothers (Bayou Teche) fiddle, electric guitar, mandolin, vocals
1991   Stayin’ Cajun (Flying Fish FF 70581) co-producer, fiddle, guitar, vocals
1990   Let’s Get Cajun (Flying Fish FF 70539) producer, arranger, fiddle, lead guitar, mandolin, vocals
1984   “Now and Then”/”Rowdy Night” (45rpm, Showtime 1066) fiddle

Drew Landry and the Dirty Cajuns
2006   Tailgaten Relief & Hurricane Companion EP (Drew Landry) producer, fiddle, guitar, bass

Hadley J. Castille and the Louisiana Cajun Band
1993   Cajun Swamp Fiddler (Swallow SW 6112-2) guitar, mandolin, vocals

Filé
1982   Left Feet (Flying Fish FF 70507) electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals

Solo and Duo Projects
2006   Al Berard & Jason Frey, Old Style Cajun Music (Acadiana ACD 0155) fiddle, guitar, vocals
2000   Al Berard & Karen England, Feet Off the Ground (Swallow SW 6162) co-producer, fiddle, vocals
1999   Al Berard and friends play Cajun music from the heart (Swing Cat), producer, performer
1994   Al Berard & Errol Verret, C’est dans le sang Cadjin (Swallow SW 6114-2) co-producer, fiddle, guitar, vocals, mandolin

2007   Nolton Simien, La Danse Finis Pas: Classic Louisana Creole Music (Al Berard Studios)
2005   Lee Benoit, Ma Petite Femme (Old Man 7935-2) electric slide guitar, acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin
2004   Robert Leblanc, Allons à la veille chez Robert (Swallow SW-6184), performer
2001   Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys, Au Coup d’Éclair (Swallow SW-6183) elec. guitar
2001   Pope Huval, Chante Ti Garçon (Swallow SW-6168) producer, editor, performer
2001   Sacaulait, Sac-à-lait Jig (Swallow SW-6165), fiddle 
2001   T-Mamou Band Cajun and creole jam (Swallow SW 6160), producer, performer
2000   Lee Benoit, Dis 'n' Dat (MTE 5068-2) fiddle
1999   L’esprit de la Louisiane (Over the Moon Productions OMT-1943), guitar, bass, dulcimer
1999   Becca Begneaud, Merci pour le cadeau (Ame de Louisiane ADL-5001), arranger
1999   Ray Landry and the Basile Cajun Band, Ray Landry and the Basile Cajun Band play traditional style Cajun music (Swallow SW-6156) fiddle
1999   Medicine Show Gatherings of the tribe. Vol. 3 (Acadiana Arts Council), fiddle
1999   Medicine Show Gatherings of the tribe. Vol. 2 (Acadiana Arts Council), fiddle, vocals, guitar (with The Traiteurs and with Big Pecan and The Assorted Nuts)
1999   Native Sons Native Sons (Latanier 5011) mandolin
1998   Alain Gatay with Trans Bayou Express, On est après rouler! (France, CZML 0398)
1998   How’s Bayou, Pardon my French (Artdeco), fiddle, electric guitar
1998   Martin Swinger, Scrapbook
1998   Medicine Show Gatherings of the tribe. Vol. 1 (Acadiana Arts Council), fiddle, guitar (solo and with The Basin Brothers)
1997   Camey Doucet, Mom, I’m still your little boy (Swallow, SW-6140) 
1995   Hélène Boudreaux, Pete Bergeron Une deuxième Chance (Swallow SW6120-2), performer 
1995   John Dubois, Bayou Ballads (Chaud Dog Jean) guitar
1991   John Dubois, Rendezvous Louisianais (Chaud Dog Jean) acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, background vocals
1990s   Trans Bayou Express, Voyage dans le pays Cajun (France, TRE1LA99) fiddle, guitar, vocals

Compositions 

Commercial
Early 1990's 
 
Budweiser
Whitney Bank
Evangeline Motors
Randol’s Restaurant
Cajun Heartland State Fair
Cajun Seasoning Company--Lafayette

1995
Public Broadcasting System  
West Virginia State Park

Television and Series

1990's
HBO Series          — 
Sopranos
Television Series   -- Northern Exposure
Film                      -- Double Jeopardy

Liturgical
music composer for St. Joseph Catholic Church, Cecilia (LA)

 

Educational

Cajun fiddle Workshops: 
Cajun/Bluegrass Festival at Escoheag, Rhode Island; 
Fiddle Tunes at Port Townsend, Washington; 
Philadelphia Folk Festival at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 
Louisiana Folk Roots, Lake Fausse Pointe State Park at St. Martinville, Louisiana and Chicot State Park near Ville Platte, Louisiana;
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival at Hillsdale, New York.

 

Featured Instructional
2002   
Al Berard, Al Berard Teaches-- Cajun Fiddle Basics (Custom Flix DVD) directed and produced by Tom Gath and Susi Mills

 

Selected Appearances



Professional affiliations

 1994 to …      BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) 

1990 to 1994:  ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers)

1992, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004:   CFMA (Cajun French Music Association)
 

Education

1978 Cecilia High School, Cecilia, Louisiana