Church Point native and local musician extraordinaire Travis Matte was the big winner last night at the Cajun French Music Association's 26th Annual Le Cajun Plaque and Music Awards.

Matte claimed Male Vocalist of the Year, Accordionist of the Year, Best CD of the Year, Band of the Year, Traditional CD of the Year and Song of the Year for "Heaven Sent".

Of course, we all know Travis Matte for his infusion of zydeco, cajun, rock and even a little hip-hop. But this past year he returned to his roots to record a traditional CD called "Old Time Cajun Songs".

As he racked up award after award, Matte gave credit to his idols, past and present, like Walter Mouton, Belton Richard and Iry Lejeune.

"We don't get to play traditional music that much," said Matte. "These are the guys that inspired me to do a traditional Cajun record.

"Aldus Roger and Phillip Alleman were like the Beatles to me. But you could look them up in the phone book. These guys were my idols and a lot of them are here tonight.

"Wallace Touchet is here and I know every record he played on. I studied these guys and I love them."

Another highlight of the evening was when Lee Benoit was inducted into the CFMA Hall of Fame along with Felton LeJeune, Wallace "Red" Touchet and August Broussard.

Other awards presented include:

Fiddler of the Year -- Courtney Granger
People's Choice Award -- Ray Abshire's CD "All Night Long"
Best First CD -- La Recolte "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes"
Appreciation Award -- Musician Mack Manuel
Heritage Award -- Songwriter Mary L. Naquin
Pioneer Award -- Musician Clifton Joseph Newman
Prix d'Hors de Nous Award (given to Cajun bands outside La.) -- The Cajun Roosters
Continuing Contribution Award -- Larry's French Market and Cajun Restaurant in Groves, Texas

The Cajun French Music Festival continues from 10am-9:45pm today at the Civic Center in Rayne. A band schedule is available at

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