Credit: Sid Williams at El Sido’s | photo by John Vettese for World Cafe
Sid Williams has been running his Lafayette club El Sido’s for thirty years now. The venue has been an integral and joyful part of the town over the last few decades, launching zydeco careers, offering a place for friends and family to gather and lending a hand to the community. But as Herman Fuselier discusses in his profile of the venue for The Advertiser, El Sido’s isn’t experiencing the level of success it once was:
El Sido’s sits idle this Mother’s Day, a sign of the times for the zydeco landmark. During its heyday, the club featured bands every weekend, Friday through Sunday.
But El Sido’s is now lucky to be open twice a month. Williams estimates 80 percent of his business has been lost to casinos, which can pay bands higher, guaranteed money and let customers enter free of charge.
Williams’ younger brother Nathan, who performs around the world with his band The Zydeco Cha Chas, emphasises the importance of the club for burgeoning zydeco musicians:
“That’s the first stage I jumped on,” said Nathan. “It was all good times. A lot of people forgot about those times.
“His club has done a lot for musicians and bands. Nobody knew him at the time, but there’s so many people there that went somewhere with the music after being exposed at the club. That’s where I got my first start.”