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Friday, December 02, 2016

Buckwheat Zydeco

Stanley Dural Jr., better known as Buckwheat Zydeco, died in September. In my efforts to explore all different kinds of music, I picked up a best of album and it has been pleasant accompaniment for over a week. You know what zydeco is--it's New Orleans funk with an accordion.

It was developed by the French-speaking Creole people of Louisiana, and is usually dance music. In fact, most zydeco songs, at least to my ears, sound pretty much the same, with negligible lyrics ("Bim Bam, Thank You Mam" is one track, and the intriguing "I Bought a Raccoon" is another, and they pretty much sound like the same song). But some of the songs are slowed down and instrumentals, and make you feel a little wistful, like "People's Choice," or have a message, like "Make a Change."

There are also some intriguing cover songs on this album, such as Morris Dees "Ya Ya," which I think is my favorite, Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'," and Eric Clapton' "Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad."

New Orleans is near the top of my list of places to go that I haven't been, and much of it is because of the music. I now have to go to place that plays zydeco, have a few strong drinks and get sweaty listening to the music and watching the people dance. I'm sorry Buckwheat Zydeco is gone, but at least his passing introduced me to a wonderful form of music. He makes the accordion hip. Here's a taste.

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