Sunday, October 5, 2014

Zydeco Dance Lesson - Slides

There are many different styles in Zydeco and one you will often see in Louisiana & Texas are slides.  This is where the couple will move horizontally back and forth in sync with each other.  While it appears easy, the lifts are significantly different than the standard weight changes in Zydeco so the video clip below breaks down these weight changes and also covers the transition of getting into slides while dancing in the open position.

Starting at 1:53 on the video clip below along with dancer extraordinaire, Chearl McKee, we break down the basics of slides... once you have this down you can start embellishing the pattern as the video clip at the bottom shows where they start sliding the lifts and crossing over. I can post a follow up video clip on this fancy footwork but it's essential you have the standard lifts down first as shown below. 



The video clip is from DVD#4 at www.LearnZydeco.com

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Zydeco Addicted

As we all seem to connect to one or more genres of music there are many who are "Zydeco Addicted".  This video clip really expresses these magical qualities between the connection of the dance to each other as well as the music and ambiance of the Zydeco locations.  This was shot at Cafe Des Amis outside of Lafayette Louisiana which hosts a Saturday morning dance every week with seasoned artists.


The seasoned Pros in this video are Little Wayne & Same Old Two Step.
Check out their website at www.sameol2step.com/

The reason this video captures the energy so well... is because of the extra time, energy and effort it took to make it.  They used 2 cameras at least..
A big thank you to Fredo Zydeco for posting the work to make and share it.. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Future of Zydeco - Yea U Rite

Outside of Louisiana and Texas you don't see young Zydeco players so here are a few recent video clips of up and coming Zydeco artists that you maybe hearing about in a few years. 

Chole of Moscow, TX is the daughter of Kid Reece and Mo Live.  Zydeco is in great need of future female accordion players so it's great to see her pushing and pulling!  


Listed below the son of "Kid Reece and Mo Live"
It's amazing how cool and collected he is which comes from one place... lots of practice.

 

The video clip below is an up and coming accordion pro who goes by the name of Zydeco Kid.  Click on the following link to see more of his amazing talents.
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYgfhJ_EakWKIRHs6Hi1JbA


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hit Songs, Zydeco Style - Sean Ardoin

Zydeco artists are not "Zydeco Artists", they are artists who happen to play Zydeco.  Often they have a huge variety of music they perform and there was a recent example with Sean Ardoin with the YouTube clip recently released..  


From YouTube: 
Zydeco artists Sean Ardoin & ZydeKool do their tribute to Pharrell's 'Happy' by adding some creole flavor. Shot on location in Sean's hometown of Lake Charles, La., "Zydeco Happy" shows the city in all its glory and diversity.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Festival Season on the West Coast is in Full Swing!!!

Thanks to the hard work of many Cajun/Zydeco lovers out there festival season is in full swing on the West Coast... 

May 8th - 11th - Gator By The Bay / San Diego (The grand daddy of them all)
www.GatorByTheBay.com
May 24th - 25th - Simi Valley Cajun, Blues (and Zydeco) festival (Great Zydeco Line Up this Year)
http://www.simicajun.org/2014/index.html

June 21st - 22nd, Long Beach Bayou Festival
www.longbeachfestival.com
July 6th-11th, Portland's Blues and Zydeco festival (Great Line Up)
http://www.waterfrontbluesfest.com/

August 2nd - 3rd, Long Beach Crawfish Festival
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/index.php

August 16-17th, Cotati Accordion Festival
http://www.cotatifest.com/

Check out all the details thanks to Jim Hance at the "Festival-O-Rama" link you can find half way down the web page at www.icajunzydeco.com

 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why Do Accordion Players Sit or Stand While Playing?

There was a recent article on the origins of playing Cajun/Zydeco music and I thought I would share

The link is listed below to the article.  The article is interesting in many ways...   such as why more traditional Cajun accordion players sit vs those who don't sit while playing accordion...

http://www.theind.com/news/cover-story/16622-l-effet-papillion
 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Clifton Chenier - Wins Lifttime Achievement Award - Grammy's

Considering the shear number of other artists who could have one it was a great tribute for the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier to win this years Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy's.

Clifton Chenier was a Creole French-speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana.  He won a Grammy award in 1983, honored as a National Heritage Fellow in 1984 and entered into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.

Check out the great little article from the Grammy's web site at the following link:


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Zydeco Kicks - FIZB Award for 2014

Each Zydeco band has it's own special energy and the Zydeco Kick's are truly unique in the Zydeco world.  They are from Tokyo and considering you can't find lessons in Tokyo for playing Zydeco it takes a lot of persistence to learn how to play, form a band and play as well as the Zydeco Kick's do. 


At 45 seconds into the video clip it shows the new "zydeco senior strut" line dance that you can see at many festivals around the world.  We need these guys to do a US tour!...   anyone have a few thousand bucks laying around to pay for it ;)

fyi... the "MFIZB" award is "My Favorite International Zydeco Band" award ;)... it's early in the year... but so far these guys have won it!!! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cajun/Zydeco Dancing Could Reduce Risk of Dementia

I have seen various articles sharing the benefits of dance but never posted any of them on the
blog .. so it is time!

Check out the following link/article below from Peak Health Advocate on how dancing can decrease your risk by 76 percent..

21 year study of participants 75 years and older.  Dancing reduced the risk of dementia.  Wonder if this includes pole dancing?
http://www.peakhealthadvocate.com/6243/frequent-dancing-could-reduce-risk-of-dementia/

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where to find Cajun / Zydeco Music Reviews

It can be hit or miss in hearing about a new CD released from Cajun/Zydeco artists at times unless you happen to all be connected through Facebook or often take trips to Louisiana or Texas. 

 Offbeat Magazine
OffBeat Magazine has been doing music reviews for many years and since they archive all their reviews it's a great place to visit on a regular basis to see who's putting out new tunes to check out!

Click on the image to the right or the following link to view reviews on Offbeat's website.

Website Review Link:
http://www.offbeat.com/category/reviews/


Links to Individual Cajun/Zydeco Reviews:

Corey Ledet
http://www.offbeat.com/2014/01/01/corey-ledet-and-his-zydeco-band-destiny/

Chubby Carrier

http://www.offbeat.com/2014/01/01/chubby-carrier-back-to-my-roots-swampadelic-records/

Dennis Stroughmatt

http://www.offbeat.com/2014/01/01/creole-stomp-pipeliners-blues-doin-time-mme/

Travis Matte

http://www.offbeat.com/2013/12/01/travis-matte-old-time-cajun-songs-mhat-productions/

JJ Callier

http://www.offbeat.com/2013/12/01/jj-caillier-zydeco-knockouts-i-can-give-you-what-you-want-caillier-records/

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas

http://www.offbeat.com/2013/12/01/nathan-zydeco-and-the-cha-chas-a-new-road-cha-cha-records/

Friday, December 20, 2013

Creole Music & Culture in Rural Louisiana

Check out the video below to the FULL LENGTH movie on Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana.


This Nick Spitzer film on African American dance-hall music in French-speaking southwest Louisiana.  There is a ton of great video footage of Bois Sec Ardoin, Armand Ardoin and Dolon Carriere.


Check out other American Roots Films at the following Folkstreams.net web site.http://folkstreams.net/


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Boozoo Chavis - Rare Video Clips of The Zydeco Master

 BooZoo Zydeco
Over the last 15 years experiencing the Cajun/Zydeco world I have seen a ton of video clips but not this clip...  These are two rare clips of the late, great, BooZoo Chavis who was known to be very touchy about people video taping him before the era of cell phone cameras.

Boozoo recorded his first Zydeco tune in 1954 and was a major influence to the artists that we dance to today.

Of all the Zydeco songs ever played my favorite is probably his tune called Motor Dude Zydeco and the video clip at the top shows him belting out this song at a gig.  

 Boozoo Interview

BooZoo was also known for some great quotes or Boozoo-isms... such as...


"Don't tell me to watch the beat, You watch me"



"I keep up the tradition, the Zydeco"


"Nothing from nothing leaves nothing"

"I'm not trying to be something I ain't.  That's right. I'm me"

"I'm Creole, and I'm down to earth"


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Music Samples of Cajun/Zydeco Music Chronology

 History of Cajun and Zydeco Music Audio ClipsHere is a short video/audio clip of how Cajun/Zydeco music sounded from is origins through today's best artists.

There was a holiday event in San Diego and the video clip below shows a quick talk where the music samples were demonstrated to the crowd.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

What Do Those Cajun / Creole Sayings Mean?

When listening to Cajun or Zydeco music or if you have taken a trip to Louisiana you probably have heard a few new words and wondered what they mean?... 

Laissez les bon temps rouler (lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay

Let the good times roll!


Lagniappe (lan-yap)

This is the Cajun word for "something extra", so possibly at a store they may give you a little something extra with no charge.
Et Toi

This means "and you"...  


For a few more terms check out the following link to the Cajun Country Dictionary. 


http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~jmeaux/cajundict.html

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Zydeco Accordion Lesson Website - www.ZydecoAccordion.com

There is a new website just released on how to play Zydeco accordion.  In the world of Cajun and Zydeco accordion instruction there is a lot more information on playing Cajun style than Zydeco so this site is very unique. 

The new website is called Zydecoaccordion.com and focuses on how to learn single row Zydeco accordions. 

It lists a free basic song to learn called Zydeco Extravaganza and also has several other lessons for Keith Frank, Chris Ardoin and a Step Rideau tune.

Each song is broken down into basics of the melody and played through short video clips at very slow, slow and medium speed.  The site also lists tablature or the  musical notation of what buttons to push which can also be very helpful.

There are also several great tempo drum beats to play along with if wanted.
It also has a nice list of the biggest names in Zydeco with links to youtube video clips of them playing. 


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Festival Acadiens Video Recap

There are a ton of festivals in Louisiana to attend and one of the most popular and ongoing is Festival Acadiens et Creoles in Lafayette which originated back in the 70's.

If interested here is an interesting history article on the festival.

This is the second festival in Louisiana I had ever attended about 15 years ago and it has a unique feeling like no other.  Check out a few choice video clips listed below from the fest...




It's always fun to watch and check out the dancers... in fact when your at a festival it's sometimes hard to do this because your dancing the whole time!...
This clip below is a good example of other dance styles done to Cajun music...   A little swing ... a little salsa...  a true gumbo of dance styles!  Thanks to Flemming for shooting and sharing it!





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Zydeco Dance Styles... Evolves as the Music Evolves..

Zydeco dance styles have evolved along with the music so I just wanted to point out a few new video clips from YouTube showing examples of various dance styles from Louisiana and Texas...

Learning slides with lifts is the first step toward dancing this style where on the lifts they drag their foot behind the other which I often cover in workshops or if I may make a plug...also found on DVD #4 at www.LearnZydeco.com


video

 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Festival-O-Rama --- Festivals Across America

Everybody has their own information sources of where to find the latest Cajun/Zydeco festival info and I just wanted to review a few of the major sources and some possible new sources you may not know about...

a) www.iCajunZydeco.com
"Festival-O-Rama"...
Although it's a website from the San Diego C/Z community is has the "Festival-O-Rama", which does a great job of listing some of the big festivals around the country.  When you go to the web site just scroll down on the left side to see the "Festival-O-Rama" listing...
This is brought to you by Jim Hance who has done the clubs website/graphic design for many years among other related C/Z sites.

b) USA Schedule Map
http://www.arnb.org/Usalinks.php
This is a map done by Arn's website which does a great job of linking to local Cajun/Zydeco websites around the country.  Just move your mouse over whatever state your interested in events and select the newsletter options.


c) Arn's Website..
www.ZydecoSchedule.com
or www.CajunSchedule.com
Arn's website does a great job of searching and showing a ton of Cajun/Zydeco info happening all around the world.  Recently it did go to a paid subscription type of service to see the locations of the events.  You can post your own events for free! 


d) Dick Brainard puts out a great info newsletter on some of the big festivals and it's a great way to keep up on changing band and other schedules of where people are staying.. roommate's needed etc...   
Click on the following link to shoot email to be added to his list...
http://www.cascadezydeco.com/about.shtml



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Floyd's Record Shop Online Open - Physical Store Closes - 56 years

Floyd's Record Shop in Ville Platte Louisiana has been serving the Cajun/Zydeco music lovers needs for 56 years and while the online store is still open they closed the actual store.

Check out this interesting video clip interviewing "Floyd", from the local news channel on the store closing...

If you have never gotten their catalog before of their mail order business visit their website below and get on their mail list as the catalog is well put together and interesting to browse through.

Their website is www.floydsrecordshop.com



 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Zydeco Artists Get Paid to Advertise for Louisiana

Louisiana's Lt. Gov Jay Dardeen is paying touring bands who travel outside of Louisiana to give out Handkerchiefs, T-shirts and other promotional material for the state.  The Louisiana Music Ambassador Project is giving selected artists $1000 to $2000 for their promotional marketing actions. 

Check out the full story at the following link...
http://www.theadvertiser.com/viewart/20130905/ACADIANA04/309050002/Herman-Fuselier-Lieutenant-governor-has-money-musicians

Full details of the project are listed at the following link...
http://louisianasoundtrack.com/content/ambassador