News & Reviews
"Accordion Dreams is for anyone who has ever fallen
under the spell of a place and people (and) experienced the thrill
of obsession. By the conclusion of this warm and winning memoir,
the reader is likely to agree with Kilpatrick's eldest son, Alec.
'Lucky thing Dad didn't take you to Milwaukee,' he told her, years
later. 'You might be playing polkas.' "
--Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune
"She describes her foray into Cajun music in a delightful,
lyrical style...The book resonates with the joy that Cajun music
brings to its audience. I always tell visitors that it's impossible
not to smile while dancing to an upbeat two-step (although a waltz
might tear your heart out), and Kilpatrick understands this passion
wholeheartedly. Reading her memoir makes one wonder if she had passed
a good time in another life."
--Cheré Coen, Lafayette (LA) Daily Advertiser
"Kilpatricks well-written memoir gushes over local culture
like a school girl experiencing her first crush. But her story is
also very honest and intimate, touching on race relations, religion
and those never-ending voices in the heads of artists... Accordion
Dreams is a great read, even if local music is noisy and embarrasses
you. For Kilpatrick and friends, the music is a dream and journey
that never ends."
--Herman Fuselier, The Times of Acadiana
"... a beautifully written personal account...Anyone interested
in Louisiana French music will especially enjoy this narrative,
but, beyond that, Blair Kilpatricks account of the way her
life was transformed pursuing her dream should appeal to all readers."
-- David Simpson, Contemporary Cajun, Creole & Zydeco Musicians
"Kilpatrick's not so concerned with technique and hardware,
like most guys with their guitars. To her, both music and the accordion
are social instruments. Through her struggles and triumphs in music,
she learns an appreciation for the history and people who play Cajun
and zydeco music, and details both for her readers. And being a
psychotherapist, she also explores both her anxiety at taking up
music at a late age and her eventual blossoming into a relatively
--Jeffery R. Lindholm, Dirty Linen Magazine
A lyrical, deeply felt, and beautifully rendered memoir of
a mid-life love affair with Cajun music that ultimately transforms
a psychologists life, while enriching those of its readers.
Doreen Orion, best-selling author of Queen of the Road
Kilpatricks passion for Cajun and Creole music and
culture, and her efforts to nurture it in places like Chicago and
Berkeley, make me realize how much I take for granted living in
south Louisiana. Her book is a great compliment to the Cajun and
Creole people, and it provides a rare glimpse into the lives of
those who play Cajun and Creole music even while residing far from
the musics semitropical homeland.
Shane K. Bernard, author of Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm
and Blues and The Cajuns: Americanization of a People
...makes an important contribution to Louisiana Cajun and
zydeco music and culture. (...) Accordion Dreams will resonate
with anyone who has ever taken on the task of getting past their
fears in order to learn a new skill, especially later in life. It
is a detailed guidebook for those who have been standing on the
edge of the dance floor waiting for a solid partner to lead them
through the Cajun Two Step and into the culture. She deftly reveals
the history of the music and its lineage of musicians (...). Connoisseurs
of folk music all over the world should have this book in their
Anne Galjour, author of Hurricane, Creative Writing Department
at San Francisco State University.
BOOK TOUR NEWS: The first book launch event for Accordion
Dreams was at Booksmith, an independent bookstore in San Francisco,
on January 23. That began a month long local tour: four more bookstores,
along with a wonderful book release/Sauce Piquante show at Ashkenaz,
Berkeley's famed world music club. Now it's on to points south!
I'll be going to Dallas for the National Accordion Association annual
convention the weekend of March 13-16. Then, in April, I'll be spending
ten days in the place where it all began: Louisiana. So far, I have
lined up a couple of bookstore events in New Orleans and Lafayette,
a radio show, and a performance at LSU-Eunice. For details, see
the calendar page. I'll also be blogging about my travels.
BUY THE BOOK: In the San Francisco Bay Area, Accordion
Dreams can be found at Mrs. Dalloways, University Press Books,
Clayton Books, Booksmith, Down Home Music, and other fine stores.
If your local bookstore doesn't have it on the shelves, they will
be happy to order you a copy. It's also available directly from
the University Press of Mississippi, and from all the major online