February 8 2012
A new week, and a new motif on the Mardi Gras Moments; zydeco. The wild, accordion-fueled sound from the creole, French-speaking bayous of Louisiana and East Texas.
Technically, James Booker is not zydeco. Nevertheless that didn't stop me from including him in this week. Fact is Booker, a piano player by trade, was influenced by a great many of the same factors that were molding the early zydeco sound-- he just kept the elements in place with his raw sound. A sound that is many things at once, tropical Caribbean rhythms, ragtime-y piano chops and songwriting that is jump blues moving towards soul.Can't think of anyone just like him (though Professor Longhair comes close in his own legendary way.) If you've ever wondered why Dr. John sounds like he does, James Booker, that's why...
James Booker "Junco Partner"
The zydeco sound got going in earnest yesterday with music from one her earliest hit0-makers. It was Clifton Chenier who had the first zydeco hit and was an original zydeco legend. He brought the creole sound to the fore, improved the accordion for live performance and generally, rocked wherever he played. An excellent start if you should pursue the subject in sound on your own...
Clifton Chenier "Mardi Gras Zydeco"