by KAREN LAGRANGE COX
Musician Jon Melancon is known as The Troubadour. A troubadour was from the High Middle Ages who would write poems and lyrics and put music to a song.
Melancon’s following on Facebook increased from twenty-seven thousand in April 2023 to one-hundred thousand four hundred by November 2023. That increase is mostly due to his wife, Tracy, who tries to connect to her husband’s followers. She spends three to four hours daily on The Troubadour’s Facebook page by actively engaging with the followers by responding to messages, welcoming followers, and getting to know his followers.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Melancon held Gospel Sunday and other weekly concerts on Facebook Live, connecting people with his music from his home.
The Melancons say there are followers of The Troubadour’s Facebook page from around the world. Some of them drive from out-of-state to attend his performances in person to hear Melancon sing and play music. Tracy says the followers feel a “family” connection with The Troubadour Family and are welcomed into The Troubadour Family.
When followers attend his performances, Tracy often knows who is going, recognizes them, and interacts with them.
When choosing songs to play at an establishment, Melancon reads the audience and tailors the music accordingly. Tracy streams Melancon’s performances on Facebook Live while monitoring the crowd for audience engagement and alerts Melancon to respond.
When asked what makes The Troubadour so appealing, the husband and wife agreed that it’s the music, particularly Gospel music. They went on to explain that the sense of family and belonging to The Troubadour community draws people in, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. They believe people are looking for connections, and The Troubadour provides a space to feel a part of something bigger. Dedicated followers want to help Melancon and Tracy do their work, while the Melancons want to give back to others.
Melancon started singing and playing the guitar when he was a young man at nineteen in his native St. Martinville, Louisiana. His musician father bought a new guitar and bet Melancon he could not play it or sing. He took the guitar home and a few weeks later went back to his father’s house with the guitar and strummed the guitar while singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. He went on to play guitar and sing gospel music in the church choir. He performed with Reign Beau.
Being in a family with all his siblings being musicians and playing in a family band, Melancon’s father tried to discourage his son from becoming a musician; apparently, the younger Melancon did not succumb to his father’s persuasions.
Retiring earlier this year, Melancon is considering possibly doing a travel tour.
From September 21-26, 2024, there will be The Troubador Family Carnival Valor Cruise Party, which is nearly booked.
There are times when Jennifer Arceneaux with Louisiana Red, and Jonny Chauvin play as a trio with Melancon.
Melancon performs at various local venues, including Poche’s RV Park in Breaux Bridge; The Barrel of Broussard; Agave Grill, El Paso Mexican Grill, Route 92, Movant’s Bar & Grill in Youngsville; and Buck and Johnny’s in Breaux Bridge. You can also catch him at campgrounds like Cajun Heritage and Camp Margaritaville (formerly Cajun Palms).
Follow The Troubadour on Facebook.