Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Zydeco Crossroads - Interactive History Of A Great Music Form...

I was recently searching for some Zydeco artist details and came across this great Zydeco web site called Zydeco Crossroads.

The web site is ZydecoCrossroads.org

It has some great articles and interviews from the wide rage of Zydeco reaches.

Click on the image below or this link to check out the site and don't forget the link to the Archives which covers a lot of great content from previous months.

A big thank you to Philly's Allons Dancer, Rounder Records and The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for the work to support this site!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Whiskey River Jitterbug Dance!

Louisiana is a place like no other and along with their wonderful music are the dances that are done to this music.   While Zydeco is the dance most often done there is a growing number of people dancing the "Whiskey River Jitterbug".  This dance is known best for being seen at a famous bar called "Whiskey River" outside of Lafayette and at various other Cajun music related events around the area.

Couple great dancers Michael and Anna show how fun this dance can be: Email Michael for his DVD... michaelseider @    mac   .com

The great part about this dance is it incorporates 6 count swing dance patterns which have been popular for many many years.  Check out the dance clips below to get a flavor of the dance and in addition some educational clips and video info as well to check out if wanted.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Keith Frank - Live At Slim's Y-KiKi, Vol 2 CD

Keith Frank put out a recent CD called Live At Slim's Y-KiKi, Vol2 CD and it's Great!!   Whoever wrote this great blurb below for Floyd's Music web site did such a great job I will post it with a link to Floyd's Record Shop where you got to get this music!

From Flattown Music:
"Keith Frank often asks his live audiences, "Do you wanna go back?" The question teases his crowd, hungry for another nugget in his endless string of greatest hits. But the question is also a statement of fact, a sly flex of muscle by a rare artist strengthened by family musical history that dates back to the 1800s.

Yet Frank's talent for reinvention keeps his music hot for generations raised on iPhones and Android devices. In today's world of zydeco, filled with talented newcomers, also-rans and pretenders, few can go back like Keith Frank. Since the early 1990s,

Frank has eared the title of Zydeco Boss with unending crowd pleasers, like "Get on Boy," "The Hamilton Club," "Casanova" and "Haterz." Frank's accordion-flavored version of "Moving on Up," the theme of the classic TV sitcom, "The Jeffersons," gave many in Generation X their first taste of zydeco. "Oh Mom" evokes memories of Louise Frank, Keith's mother, who dies in 2013 in a traffic accident.

Louise sat by the bandstand from the band's beginning, signed off on every song heard on this CD, including the sizzling swing-out, "Teddy Bear." Her spirit was felt in this live recording as the Zydeco Boss goes back yet keeps pushing zydeco forward. ~excerpt from Herman Fuselier. *NOTE: "Teddy Bear" is the only studio recording on this live album. Released in July 2014, 16 tracks."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Making Zydeco Accessible - Andre Thierry

In the past being a Zydeco artist has been a very inclusive club only ventured by those who have the persistence to figure out how to play the music, or happen to live in Louisiana or Texas and have access to the incredibly talented artists.

Thanks to special artists such as Andre Thierry and a few others who are sharing their talents with others we will be able to keep spreading the wonderful Creole music for years to come.  As another example of people sharing information on playing Zydeco is at www.ZydecoAccordion.com and for Cajun music BigNick's web site at www.BigNick.net

This blog post was in relation to reading an interesting article from Adam Joseph with the Monterey County Weekly eNewsletter which did a great little interview with Andre at the link below.  Click on the image below...


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Gator By The Bay Festival Lineup... May 7th-10th 2015 - Mother Day Weekend - San Diego

There are a bunch of Cajun/Zydeco festivals on the west coast and one of the biggest coming up is Gator By The Bay in San Diego.   This Cajun/Zydeco band line up was recently announced and it will be humming!!

Brian Jack & the Zydeco Gamblers - Houston based Zydeco All Star is Back!!!!

Terry and the Zydeco Bad Boys - A seasoned pro and this is the first time ever that we have been able to get him for Gator By The Bay

The Pine Leaf Boys - Amazing Cajun talent and it's been a while since we have had these guys on the west coast!

Beausoleil with Michael Douset - Grammy winning artist straight from the heart of Cajun Country.

Book your hotel rooms, flights now to save a few bucks!!!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Louisiana's Cajun/Zydeco Country - Happiest Place to Live in US per Study

I knew Lafayette Louisiana was a special place when you combine the warm hospitality, music, dancing and other factors but I didn't know it was rated the happiest place to live in the US along with several other cities in Louisiana's Cajun/Zydeco country.

The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch published a report with Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Houma and other towns being at the top of the list.

While New York was the unhappiest click on the following link and scroll down for the list of all the cities considered:


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Swamp N Roll TV Show / Cajun Zydeco Showcase

There are a few TV shows that feature Cajun and Zydeco artists and I wanted to share one called Swamp N Roll..  

What is cool is in addition to their currently weekly show at the bottom of their web page they also have all their past shows archived to watch...

They tape at the Black Gold Casino in Rayne, LA every week if you want to swing by and be a part of the show and it's shown on KDCG TV..

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Zydeco Dance Lesson - Slides

There are many different styles in Zydeco dance 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.

The first clip below is from a recent workshop in Lafayette Louisiana over New Years with instructor Greg Benusa.  The Ramada Inn was nice enough to let us use their conference room.

It reviews basic weight changes of slides with lifts and also shows how to incorporate some moves into the slides once your comfortable with them.  What it does not show well is how the hand toss is incorporated into the footwork which can be found on the other links or DVD 3 or 4 at www.LearnZydeco.com

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

This additional clip below reviews slides with lifts from the Gator By The Bay festival in San Diego and also shows some quick reviews of some moves as well.

The last video clip listed below is review from a dance workshop at Tio Leo's in San Diego.  It shows the slides first with out lifts, and then adds them as a variation.  Either way you do the slides "works" visually and it's actually easier to not do lifts at first, but in Louisiana and Texas they do put in the lifts which also allows you to do a bunch of other moves that incorporate the lifts.  Its good to also see how the hand toss works with the footwork of the slides with the clip below.

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.

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)
May 24th - 25th - Simi Valley Cajun, Blues (and Zydeco) festival (Great Zydeco Line Up this Year)

June 21st - 22nd, Long Beach Bayou Festival
July 6th-11th, Portland's Blues and Zydeco festival (Great Line Up)

August 2nd - 3rd, Long Beach Crawfish Festival

August 16-17th, Cotati Accordion Festival

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...


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?

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:

Links to Individual Cajun/Zydeco Reviews:

Corey Ledet

Chubby Carrier


Dennis Stroughmatt


Travis Matte


JJ Callier


Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas


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.

Click on the link below to view the video:

Zydeco Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana

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.