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Aim Records artist Terrance Simien wins Grammy!

History in the making: first Grammy win ever for an Australian independent label

February 11, 2008Zydeco legend Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience has won the Grammy for ‘Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album’ in the 50th annual Grammy Awards for 2008 held in Los Angeles today. The prestigious award comes for Terrance’s recent Live! Worldwide (Aim Records) album release.

It’s a major win for Aim Records from Byron Bay, NSW – the independent label owned by Bluesfest director Peter Noble distributed in Australia by Aim’s local distributor The Planet Company / MGM.

This is the first time a completely independent Australian record label has ever won a Grammy, so we’re absolutely over the moon and thrilled for Terrance who has worked so hard in furthering the popularity of Zydeco music,” said Aim Records CEO, and Bluesfest director Peter Noble.

Aim Records is a purely independent label – which means no affiliation or licensing agreements with major labels in Australia or overseas. Aim uses various independent distributors in global territories.

In another first for an Australian independent label, Aim was also nominated for a 'Best Tropical Latin Album' Grammy for the release Greetings From Havana by Cubanismo – but this category was won by Juan Luis Guerra

Terrance Simien’s 2007 album, Live! Worldwide perfectly captures the band’s amazing live performances. The award is all the more fitting, as Terrance and his wife Cynthia have been instrumental in helping to create this, the first ever Grammy category for Cajun and Zydeco music.

Peter Noble continued, “Previously Cajun and Zydeco artists had to fit into the ‘Best Contemporary Folk’ category – facing the mammoth task of overcoming albums by people like Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and so on.
Given there are categories for Hawaiian albums, Native American albums, even a Best Polka album award – Terrance and Cynthia began lobbying The Recording Academy five years ago to include a more relevant Cajun and Zydeco category. Now the Grammys have listened – and this is a major win for the culture of Cajun and Zydeco music.”

Zydeco is a form of American roots or folk music, characterised by use of fast tempos and is very rhythmic, although it sometimes features 2 step waltzes, featured instruments are always the accordion and washboard. Zydeco evolved following the Second World War, drawing on the call and response vocal music of the black and multiracial French speaking Creoles of south and southwest Louisiana. The other side of the same coin, Cajun music, which features the fiddle more prominently, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking white Acadians of Canada, and often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced Zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin.

One of Zydeco's most soulful vocalists and fieriest accordionists, Terrance Simien grew up speaking French, and has been instrumental in keeping real Zydeco music alive over the years, making way now for the current re-invigorated wave of Zydeco music. Terrance and his band appeared as a Zydeco band in the 1987 movie The Big Easy, and it was one of Terrance’s songs that featured as the title track for the film. Terrance Simien is considered to be one of the most innovative and prolific Zydeco music performers of modern times.

About Aim Records

Aim Records was established in 1981 with a focus on blues, roots, jazz, soul and world music styles. Some of the label’s other recent releases include albums from Marva Wright (After the Levees Broke on which all the musicians involved were displaced from Hurricane Katrina), the Skatalites and Eric Burdon. The label has also spent time sourcing classic blues recordings, re-issuing fantastic music by the likes of Frankie Lee Sims, Earl King and Professor Longhair.

Aim Records is distributed by Planet/MGM Records.

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