Jo-EL Sonnier
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Jo-EL Sonnier

Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States | INDIE | AFM

Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States | INDIE | AFM
Band Americana Country


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Hurricane Audry 1967 Goldband Records
The Scene Today In Cajun Music 1968 Goldband Records
Cajun Valentino 1969 Goldband Records
Cajun Troubadour 1969 Goldband Records
Cajun Life (Grammy Nominated) 1980 Rounder
Come On Joe 1987 RCA
Right Next Door To Texas 1989 Goldband Records
The Cajun Troubadour 1989 Goldband Records
Have A Little Faith 1990 RCA
Tears of Joy 1991 Capital
Hello Happiness Again 1992 Liberty
Complete Mercury Session 1992 Mercury
Cajun Roots 1994 Rounder
Cajun Kids 1995 Little Morganville Records
Live in Canada 1996 Stony Plain
Cookin Cajun' 1996 KTEL Records
Cajun Young Blood 1997 Ace
Cajun Pride (Grammy Nominated) 1997 Rounder
Here to Stay 1998 Intersound Country
Cajun Memories 1998 Green Hill Music Records
Cajun Blood (Grammy Nominated) 1999 Musique de' Jo-El
Cajun Tradition 2000 Green Hill Music Records
The L.A. Sessions 2001 Musique de' Jo-El
Yesterdays with Jo-El Sonnier 2004 Ace Records
Cajun Christmas 2004 Green Hill Music Records
Cajun Hymns 2004 Green Hill Music Records
Cajun Mardis Gras 2004 Green Hill Music Records
Back By Request 2005 Musique de' Jo-El
Classic Country 2006 Musique de' Jo-EL
The Real Deal 2008 Musique de' Jo-EL
Where's That Music Comin' From ? 2011 MusiCache



The music of Jo-El Sonnier is a way of life. Steeped in passion, relentless dedication...he has been the undisputed “King of Cajun” for the past 20 years and occupies a significant place in the rich artistic landscape of this country. His fans are un-deniably dedicated, while the music industry elite - Dylan, Costello and Hank Williams Jr., to name a few, admire his work to no end. He is a “musician’s musician” with a wonderful gift to sing and entertain you in a way often imitated but never duplicated.
Jo-El was born in Rayne, Louisiana to poor, French speaking sharecroppers. He began to play the accordion at three years of age, first as a toy to occupy Jo-El while his parents visited with neighbors. As he grew, so did his love for the instrument and his ability to play it. Singing only in French, his Cajun heritage was very strong and clear. News of this gifted child spread, which led to a radio debut at the age of 6 and his first recording session at the age of 11. As a favorite in local clubs, Sonnier remained a Louisiana sensation during his early life, but decided to try his luck at recording Country music and in 1974 he signed a recording contract with Mercury Records. The success he sought after continued to elude Sonnier and after four years in Nashville,he decided to try his luck in California where he began
performing solo shows with the help of many notable friends including guitarist Albert Lee and the Band’s Garth Hudson.. By the middle 80’s, Jo-El had a Grammy nominated recording to his credit with Cajun Life. The recognition achieved with the success of Cajun Life provided the freedom to fuse Sonnier’s deep Cajun roots with country, rock, and other pop influences.
1987 brought about a new recording deal with RCA records and the result was Come On Joe. Containing several Top 10 hits including “Tear-Stained Letter” and “No More One More Time”. In 1988, Jo-EL was named by the “Performance Magazine”, “New Country Touring Artist of the Year.” Later Jo-EL was nominated
by the Academy of Country Music For the “New Male Vocalist of the Year Award”.His new album “Come On Joe” was the only Nashville album chosen by People magazine as one of the ten best albums of 1989. He also won Cashbox magazine’s New Male
Vocalist award.
With radio success under his belt, Jo-EL began to stretch
out by becoming a sought after session player in Nashville. The sounds of his accordion can be heard on the albums of such great legends as Hank Williams Jr.,Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Robert Cray, , Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, Elvis Costello,Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton among others. Jo-El has lent his talent on the accordion to more than 100 Artist records. He continues to maintain a regular schedule as a session player. In 2004, Jo-EL recorded a duet with Chris LeDoux, on what would be Chris’s last album. In 2006 he was back in the studio, adding a little Cajun spice to the new CD by “ Hot Apple Pie”.
In addition to his virtuosity as an accordion player, he also plays bass guitar, acoustic guitar, drums and harmonica.
As a songwriter, Jo-El has had his songs recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, George Strait, EmmyLou Harris, John Anderson and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Although singing and performing are his first love, Sonnier has also done his share of acting in the movies. Among his credits you will find a role in “Mask” starring Cher and Sam Elliot. “A Thing Called Love,” and “They All Laughed” .
In 2006 Jo-EL received his 4th. Grammy nomination for his
Newest traditional recording, titled, “ Cajun Mardi Gras”.
With four Grammy nominations under his belt for his traditional French recordings, Sonnier continues to record and perform his traditional music to crowds around the world.
Although Jo-EL continues to color outside the lines of
Nashville's’ version of Country music, he continues to record his style of music for his fans to enjoy on his own Record Label, “Musique de’ Jo-EL.’
With the help of XM Radio, Jo-EL’s music is being discovered by a whole new audience through airplay of his Traditional Country recordings on Mercury Records in the 70’s.
With 29 albums to his credit, Jo-EL added to the list again in 2008 with release of his newest cd,”The Real Deal”.
In October 2009, Jo-EL was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. In June of 2010 he recorded his 31st album in Nashville for MusiCache Records.
Known for his incredible stage performance, Sonnier has performed all across the world; from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to the Edmonton Folk Festival to performances throughout Europe and South America and Japan. Jo-El is backed by six accomplished musicians which he calls, “Louisiana Pride”. Signing autographs and talking to the fans,
Jo-El gives 100% of himself at every show. Sonnier says,
“I perform every show as if it was my last, and it doesn‘t matter to me if there are only 25 people or 25,000 people in the