Jo-El Sonnier’s Cajun roots come through in his music

Jo-El Sonnier has been recording music since he was 11 years old.

Now at the ripe old age of 69, Sonnier hasn’t grown tired of music. He’s been working hard and playing his signature accordion for decades. His work ethic was likely passed down to him by his parents, who were poor sharecroppers from the “deep, deep South” in Rayne, Louisiana.

“They showed so much heart in what they did in their work,” said Sonnier during a phone interview. “And I just persevered in the same manner when I was a youngster.”

The Cajun and country musician learned how to play the accordion at the age of 3. It was the first instrument Sonnier ever learned, and was a gift handed down to him by his brother.

Read the complete story at