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Sean Ardoin

Photo: Sean Ardoin on the air with David Dye and Herman Fuselier for Zydeco Crossroads

If you listened to the inaugural broadcast of the Zydeco Crossroads Radio Hour last night, you probably heard the show open with a slightly different version of Pharrell’s hit “Happy.”  That upbeat creole cover was recorded by Sean Ardoin & Zydekool, and they made a “Happy” music video to go along with it.

Filmed in Ardoin’s hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the video is an homage to both the town and the song.  You’ll spot newscasters, radio personalities, line dancers, tourists, boaters and just about every other resident of the Southern Louisiana city lending their happy faces and dance moves to the video.  Watch below.

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Tomorrow night WXPN in Philadelphia and KRVS in Lafayette, LA will broadcast a live concert with supergroup Creole United from the Blue Moon Saloon. The broadcast kicks off a monthly Zydeco radio show co-hosted by KRVS’s Herman Fuselier and World Cafe‘s David Dye.

Before tuning in to the live concert broadcast, watch a video of Creole United’s performance on TV program Swamp ‘n’ Roll below.  The band, which features three generations of Zydeco musicians including Andre Thierry, Sean Ardoin, Jeffery Broussard and more, released its latest album Non Jamais Fait last year.  The record blends traditional Creole French music with modern Zydeco songs, paying homage to the band’s heritage while creating a path for future Zydeco bands to follow.  Watch the show below and get more information on the broadcast here.

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Exploring Zydeco standards with fiddler Canray Fontenot

Jazz has Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, rock has Lynyrd Skynyrd and Zydeco has Canray Fontenot.  The Creole fiddler was an award-winning Louisiana musician whose original compositions withstood the test of time to become standards in traditional Zydeco and Cajun music.  Two songs in particular -“Les Barres de la Prison” and “Bonsoir Moreau” – have been adopted by the newer generations of Zydeco artists, showing up again and again on recorded albums and live on stage.  In 1983 folklorist and archivist Alan Lomax took his crew to Basile, LA and filmed Fontenot playing these two standards on the porch with his friends Freeman Fontenot and Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin.  Watch the clips below and learn more about Canray Fontenot here.

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Back in 1998 the Philadelphia-based Alligator Zydeco Band appeared on Inside Indre, a TV segment filmed at South Philly’s Indre Studios that showcased local bands.  Alligator Zydeco Band features the father-daughter team of Greg and Laura Troiano, a pair that has made a name for itself throughout the Zydeco circles both in their hometown and beyond.  The elder Troiano is credited with performing the first Zydeco in the area by a local band, having played Rose Tree Park’s Kite Day in 1085.  Watch the video clip below and learn more about Alligator Zydeco Band here.

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Floyd’s Record Shop monthly vinyl picks

An easy introduction to the world of Zydeco and Cajun music could be checking out Floyd’s Record Shop‘s monthly vinyl specials.

Located about an hour north of Lafayette in Ville Platte, LA, the historic music store has been servicing Louisiana fans of Zydeco, Swamp Pop and traditional Cajun music for almost 60 years. And each month the shop hand-picks a couple of standout records to showcase a wide variety of musicians and bands, guaranteed to get you dancing.

September’s picks included 2014’s Light the Stars by Cajun outfit Bonsoir, Catin and Danser by four-time GRAMMY Award nominees Pine Leaf Boys. Watch Bonsoir, Catin perform “Moi l’aime une petite fille” off of the record below, followed by Pine Leaf Boys performing “Eunice Two-Step.”

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Floyd’s Record Shop monthly music picks

An easy introduction to the world of Zydeco and Cajun music could be checking out Floyd’s Record Shop‘s monthly vinyl specials.

Located about an hour north of Lafayette in Ville Platte, LA, the historic music store has been servicing Louisiana fans of Zydeco, Swamp Pop and traditional Cajun music for almost 60 years.  And each month the shop hand-picks a couple of standout records to showcase a wide variety of musicians and bands, guaranteed to get you dancing.

September’s picks included 2014’s Light the Stars by Cajun outfit Bonsoir, Catin and Danser by four-time GRAMMY Award nominees Pine Leaf Boys.  Watch Bonsoir, Catin perform “Moi l’aime une petite fille” off of the record below, followed by Pine Leaf Boys performing “Eunice Two-Step.”

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CJ Chenier

To kick off our Zydeco Crossroads project, the legendary C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band performed at this summer’s XPOnential Music Festival.

The performance kicked off the 13 month long series of live concerts, dance parties, a monthly radio show and the making of a documentary by filmmaker Robert Mugge. Below, watch a trailer for the film which includes performances from C.J. and footage of an interview that World Cafe host David Dye did with Chenier.

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Learning how to Zydeco dance with Cupid

The mission of Zydeco Crossroads is to bring bands from Lafayette, Louisiana, that are largely unknown in Philadelphia, into the spotlight and spark a connection between the two cities. And while most of the Zydeco culture has remained under the radar in the Northeast, there’s one artist from down south who’s already given us an introduction to the world of Zydeco (though we may not have realized it).

In 2007, Lafayette hip hop artist Cupid had a Top-40 cross-over hit song called “Cupid Shuffle.”  If you’ve been to a wedding, bar mitzvah, sweet sixteen or on a cruise in last seven years you’ve probably encountered the song and its Electric Slide-esque line dance, which means you’re already familiar with the basics of Zydeco dancing.

In 2012 Cupid was back with “Do It With Your Boots On,” a music video / short movie that features several Zydeco musicians that will be with us during the Zydeco Crossroads project, including Leon Chavis, Lil Nate, and Curley Taylor.  The video spawned a viral response with fans filming their own videos showing them dancing with their boots on.

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Houston-born musician Corey Ledet is a lifelong student of Zydeco music, having begun his playing career when he was just ten years old with Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals.  Now a resident of Louisiana, the GRAMMY Award nominee and his band stopped by KRVS’ Cypress Lake Studios in Lafayette to record a video of “Promised Land Two Step” off of his 2013 LP Destiny for Local Produce Live.

Ledet’s band includes Zydeco stalwart Lil’ Buck Sinegal on guitar, who has recorded with Clifton Chenier and Buckwheat Zydeco, in addition to appearing on Paul Simon’s Graceland.  Watch the video of “Promised Land Two Step” below.

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Welcome to Buckwheat’s World!

The legendary Buckwheat Zydeco is developing a new YouTube video series called Buckwheat’s World. According to his website “Buckwheat’s World” is a new way to showcase Buck’s music, present a behind-the-scenes look at the richness and enchanting character of southwest Louisiana culture, and allow fans to get to better know a wonderful character: Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr.”

In addition to new, live musical performances from the band, Buckwheat’s World episodes will feature slice-of-life scenes of Buck doing what he does every day. He might be working on one of his vehicles, tending his menagerie of animals, boiling crawfish, hanging out with friends and bandmates, fishing on the bayou, taking care of Buck business. All the things that make up Buckwheat’s World and the lifestyle of Southwestern Louisiana. The initial musical performances will be filmed at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana with the band playing in the casual setting of the studio’s beautiful pool house overlooking the Vermilion River. Buckwheat’s World is being shot and directed by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, celebrated documentary filmmakers who got their start in Louisiana with such classics as “Yeah You Rite!” and “Louisiana Boys—Raised on Politics”. They’ve won two Peabody Awards and kept audiences laughing and thinking with such films as “American Tongues”, “Vote for Me” and “People Like Us”. Their latest film “Getting Back to Abnormal”, about New Orleans politics, will be on the POV series on PBS July 14.

Below, watch the trailer for Buckwheat’s World.

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