His playing bounced and leaped, sometimes galloping at a breakneck speed or meandering at a walk. Read more
Horseman and musician John Delafose became well known following the 1981 release of his first album, Zydeco Man, with liner notes by the young folklorist Nick Spitzer. Delafose’s singing didn’t have a wide range, but it was warm and full of feeling, and his accordion style crackled with bundles of fast notes separated by long, mournful ones.
Zydeco can be heard across the U.S. and worldwide today, thanks to extensive touring by artists like the indefatigable Buckwheat Zydeco. But here are the best places to hear zydeco. Read more
Born to a family of sharecroppers in Carencro, Louisiana in 1940, the late Fernest Arceneaux learned accordion early. He later dropped it and took up the guitar, playing rhythm & blues. Legend says that Clifton Chenier himself persuaded Arceneaux to go back to the accordion. He played mostly triple-row accordion, smaller than the piano key type. Read more
Growing up in Lafayette, Louisiana in the 1950s, Lynn August’s mother encouraged him to take up music after he began singing songs by Fats Domino, Lloyd Price and Clifton Chenier. Read more
Women are few and far between as zydeco performers. The most famous woman band leader in zydeco is Louisiana-born, California-based Queen Ida Guillory, but there’s also Rosie Ledet, Donna Angelle, and Jennifer Frank (who plays bass in brother Keith’s band) and Lake Charles native Ann Goodly. Read more.
The best way to learn about zydeco is to experience it live but for those who are curious about who plays the music, where the music comes from, and the culture that produces it, find these at your local public library. Read more.
Part of the new generation restoring the heritage of Louisiana Creoles, Corey Ledet spent summers in Parks, Louisiana growing up though he was born in Houston, Texas. Ledet was influenced by Zydeco masters John Delafose, Beau Jocque, Buckwheat Zydeco, Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis and today he plays classic, original and borrowed songs. Read more.
Nathan Williams | photo by Rick Olivier via www.spartanindependent.com
Music draws inspiration from everywhere, including the natural world. Popular music has called on animals from Big Mama Thorton’s “Hound dog” to Ylvis’s “What Does the Fox Say?” and Zydeco is no exception. Read more.
October is the anniversary of a landmark recording in zydeco. In 1975 Clifton Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band trekked to the Studio in the Country, in Bogalusa, Louisiana to lay down Bogalusa Boogie, a record that still holds up today. Read more.