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.


Click on the link below to view the video:
http://www.folkstreams.net/film,181

 Zydeco
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.



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...






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

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2013 Winner for best Zydeco Band Name... so far


It's interesting researching the new bands coming out of Louisiana and Texas as well as the creative ways they name their bands.  I just ran across the best name so far for 2013...
 
Here are a few runners up.... 

Jay-B and the Zydeco Posse
Jabo & the Southside Playboys
JJ and the Zydeco DogPound
Lil Rob  & the Zydeco Studs
Weasel & da Zydecoclan

The winner so far in 2013 is...

"Tank and the Zydeco Codebreakers".


Tank's band sounded very good which goes to show you just how much talent runs along the i10 corridor all the way from Lafayette Louisiana to Houston Texas.

Click on the link below to check out Tank's video clip from the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans back in April of 2013.To see a list of all the Zydeco bands click on the following Link



Monday, August 12, 2013

The Search for the Father of Cajun and Zydeco music

Amede Ardoin is considered the father of today's Cajun and Zydeco music and back in the 40's he had a tragic end to his life.  There has been an ongoing search for where he was buried and from this new article it appears the search will continue!

http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20130725/ACADIANA04/307250003/Search-Am-d-Ardoin-hits-another-dead-end

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Keepin Zydeco Alive Yall

Thanks to the endless hours of road trips the younger generation is keeping Zydeco alive and taking the time to travel to festivals away from Louisiana and Texas to spread their talents.  The video clip below is to the recent Long Beach Crawfish Festival which just happened the first week in August, 2013.

The video clip is Ruben Moreno and his band pumping out one of Brian Jacks famous tunes from a few years back.  Ironically there are a few less dancers at some of the California festivals compared to 10 years ago but we actually have more festivals.  We only had three main Southern California festivals in the past but the Long Beach Crawfish festival each year has been bringing out more and more high talented Zydeco bands from Louisiana and Texas.  The exposure of Zydeco has seemed to have grown over the years.

Check out the drummer Steven... this guy is an incredible drummer... a step above many Zydeco drummers.


video
Ruben's web site:
http://rubenmusik.com/

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zydeco Dance Lesson - Slides

There are a ton of various Zydeco styles you will see on the dance floor in Louisiana and Texas.  One common style will be the slides with lifts as shown below.  It takes a bit to get comfortable with the movement where there is no rock step but once you have the slides down there are a ton of fun moves you can incorporate into the style which are a lot of fun.  I will post a few in the future to the blog as well.. 


For an additional video clip showing this style please click on the following link..

http://youtu.be/NtTk0utd1vk

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Old School is New School with Moris Ledet new CD..

I was recently on a road trip through the south and in New Orleans I purchased a few new Zydeco CD's that were recently released.  One CD was from Moris Ledet and the Zydeco Ramblers and was very interesting.  Many of the tunes hae this old school Zydeco sound to them that I loved. 

One of the current trends seems to be mixing little RaB sound or rap in with Zydeco to help it appeal to the younger crowd and you don't get this feeling with Moris's new CD called "Swing That Thing".  Morris's daughter Kassy also sings some tunes on the CD and she has some nice pipes!

Please click on the following link to check out the CD and if wanted you can also purchase it through the flattownmusic.com web site.

Moris Ledet - Swing That Thing


.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Zydeco Is Not Cajun Music

Check out the great little video clip I recently came across with Chubby Carrier explaining the difference between Zydeco and Cajun music.  



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Upcoming Festivals

Here is a list of upcoming 2013 Zydeco Festivals to check out.  Thanks to Dick Brainard for sharing the list with a few additions by myself.

Festival International Breaux Bridge Crawfish Fest: Lafayette, LA, April 24th weekend.
For those of you asking--I do not reserve a block of rooms for these festivals as the hotels in the Lafayette area ask premium rates for rooms during this time. Sorry--you are on your own.


Gator By The Bay: San Diego--May 10-11-12.
Zydeco Line up includes Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Lil’ Wayne & Same Ol’ 2-Step, & Lafayette Rhythm Devils. Be sure to book your room soon at the Sheraton next to the festival to get the $109 + tax/night rate. Go to www.sandiegofestival.com for all details.

Long Beach Bayou Festival, June 22-23rd
Line up includes Pine Leaf Boys, Brian Jack, Jo Jo Reed, Sunpie
Web Site www.LongBeachFestival.com


Simi Valley Cajun Blues Festival, May 25th, 26thJPaul & Zydeco Newbreeds, Steve Riley, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Leroy Thomas & Zydeco Roadrunners
Web Site www.simicajun.org



Strawberry Park Cajun Zydeco Festival: Preston, CT--June 6-7-8-9.
Line up includes Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, The Pine Leaf Boys, Lil’ Wayne & Same Ol’ 2-Step, Savoy Family Band, Jesse Lege, Jimmy Jo, & Planet Zydeco. Go to www.strawberrypark.net/festivals/cajun-zydecofestival for details.

Waterfront Blues Fest: Portland, OR--July 4-5-6-7.
Major Blues Acts include Robert Plant & Sensational Space Shifters, John Hiatt, Taj Mahal, Mavis Staples, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Robert Randolph, plus fifty more blues bands on three stages! Go to www.waterfrontbluesfest.com for details.

Zydeco Stage (w/ dance floor): Friday 6:45-11:00 PM--Lil' Wayne & Same Ol' 2-Step, TooLoose Cajun Band, Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp Band; Saturday Noon-11:00 PM--Pineleaf Boys, Lil' Wayne & Same Ol' 2-Step, Chubby Carrier, Horace Trahan & Ossun Express; Sunday 11:30-4:30 PM--Atomic Gumbo, Horace Trahan, Pineleaf Boys. Plus swing blues dancing other times.

The fest is in Waterfront Park in downtown Portland--over 20,000 attendees each day. If flying in, best to avoid a rental car & parking fees in downtown. Light rail from PDX to downtown every 15 minutes. Options for rooms include;

www.hotwire.com for a 3-star hotel ($68) at the airport (with shuttle from terminal) & within walking distance to Cascade light rail station & drops you 4 short blocks from the fest.

www.uplacehotel.com University Place Hotel ($113/night including tax & breakfast) ten blocks from the fest.

www.pdx.edu/conferences/stay-us (then click on “individual stay contract” for details) in PSU campus dorm rooms w/ bath & amenities; 12 blocks from the fest. $56 to $66/night for two.

Hotels across the street from the fest include the Marriott and Hotel 50. Both are over $150/night. The Hilton Hotel (6 blocks) may be willing to bargain if you arrive without reservations & they have empty rooms.

Rhythm & Roots Fest: Ninigret State Park, RI--Aug. 30,31, Sep. 1.
Go to www.rhythmandroots.com for information.

To get on Dick's mail list please email me and I will send him your email.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lafayette Rythum Devils @ Gator By The Bay

Just a post to announce a big Cajun band added to the Gator By The Bay festival for the 2013 festival in May, the Lafayette Rhythm Devils!


Straight from Louisiana this is the first time the Lafayette Rhythm Devils have played in southern California and it looks like they will be adding a lot to the festival party!

The other big headliners for the Cajun/Zydeco lineup are Geno Delafose, Andre Thierry and Lil Wayne with Same Two Step.


The festival is always the 2nd weekend in May and check the festvial web site for other details at www.gatorbythebay.com

Friday, March 1, 2013

Zydeco with Turns!

Traditionally the Zydeco dance has not had a lot of overhead type turns but that has changed over the years.  Typically swing, jitterbug, salsa and other dances have a great number of turns but over head turns do seem to be increasing in Zydeco.

The video clip below with a couple of great dancers, Arthur and Kim, is a good example of how turn are integrated into Zydeco. 

The difference with Zydeco is the whole dance is based on 8 count patterns opposed to jitterbug with 6 count patterns.  For Zydeco dancers who dance swing or other types of dancing it's a little odd to drag out the turns another two beats but it also gives you the opportunity to do a little more with the extra time.

As they say in Louisiana "It's All Good"...


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mardi Gras weekend in Lafayette Louisiana 2013


I wanted to share a few video clips and images from the Lafayette Louisiana area over the weekend before Mardi Gras.

The shear number of dance events to possibly attend is mind boggling so typically you have to pick two or three to try to pack in per day... 



The first video clip below is from Gerry Spanger's Mardi Gras party he throws for all of the dancers.  This year he had Geno Delafose play so it was a very full dance floor.  My favorite quote from the event was while dancing with one person I mentioned how hot it was with the packed dance floor and she informed me that I should have seen what it was like before they turned on the AC...    Typically dancers will bring multiple shirts with them as they soon get soaked with the Louisiana humidity levels.


The next video clip below is from Vermillionville with Terry and the Zydeco Bad Boy's.  It's amazing the amount of talent many of the artists have who rarely play some of the bigger festivals around the country but clearly have the talent for it!! 
My favorite comment from a lady dancer at Vermillionville was her apologizing for "the Houston" coming out in her.  She was referring to a style of close dance position with her gyrating hips that some of the advanced ladies can do...what can I say.. YeaURite!



This video clip below was from the highlight event of my weekend with Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band.  Keith didn't stop for one break all night with his 3+ hour set... quite amazing when you consider most other "out of Louisiana" Cajun or Zydeco bands take a break half way through their set.  He played a ton of his older hits mixed in with the new.  The low end bass power of Keith's sound system is just plain amazing.  Keith also just released a new CD... see www.KeithFrank.com for more details.



This image to the right was from Grant Street Dance Hall where I had the opportunity to do a little Intermediate and advanced Zydeco dance workshop.  

Check out the following link for some of the advanced stuff we covered at medium pace and there are always Zydeco DVD's for sale which slow down these moves further covering this stuff at www.LearnZydeco.com

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Free Zydeco Workshop - Saturday Feb 9th - Lafayette, LA


Zydeco Dance Workshop - Saturday Feb 9th - Grant Street Dance Hall, Lafayette

What:  Intermediate & Advanced Zydeco dance workshop covering a few intermediate and a few advanced Zydeco moves.  We will also cover the hardest move in Zydeco, "The Reverse 360".  If the group wants to learn a easy Zydeco line dance we can also cover this as well. 

Online Lesson 1 (with video clip link below)
As they say practice makes perfect and while we will be covering several intermediate moves if you want to brush up on the basics of some of the advanced footwork please click on the following YouTube link.  No partner is really needed to practice this footwork before coming to class if wanted..

Online Lesson 2
Before coming to class if you want to do a little more practice click on the following link ....



We won't be covering any beginning Zydeco so check with your local instructors for this or go to www.ZydecoLesson.com for a free online lesson.

When: Saturday, Feb 9th, 2:00pm-3:00pm

Location: Grant Street Dance Hall, 113 W. Grant St. Lafayette, LA 70501
web: grantstdancehall.com


Cost: Free 

(Just in town for a little fun weekend and thought it would be fun to throw in a short little workshop)




No RSVP needed nor do you need a partner.. we will provide.  Any questions call 619-857-8409.

Instructor: Greg Benusa

web:
www.ZydecoCoach.com
www.ZydecoLesson.com

 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Creole Music and Culture Online Documentary

I have seen a lot of the Cajun/Creole type documentaries that have been released over the years but I have never seen this Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana video which was very interesting.

Folklorist Nicholas Spitzer did a great job of capturing the interesting perspectives of the artists and Creole community from it's evolving roots not that long ago.  It is so interesting to see John Delafose many years ago in his prime and Geno his son playing the washboard and drums at some of the dances with his daddy.  Geno Delafose is playing this year at the Gator By The Bay festival in San Diego for the first time!

Click on the following link below to view the documentary and for more information on the film.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Zydeco in Japan - Zydeco Kicks

The last place on earth I would have ever expected Zydeco to show up is in Japan but thanks to the Zydeco Kicks they are helping to feed the frenzie. 


What is amazing is the talents of the accordion player in being able to learn and play the Zydeco tunes as it's not like he can go down the street to get lessons!

The Zydeco Kicks is lead by Yoshitake who has made several trips to Louisiana as they have been playing for seveal years in Japan.  It is also intersting to note that they love the music but nobody knows how to dance Zydeco so they just party on with their freestyle dancing. 

Zydeco Kicks has a web site at the link below and of course he has his CD available as well as t-shirts.  I think I will need to get one of those shirts for 1500 Yen. 

Web Site: http://zydeco.jp/

Sounds like a good excuse for a trip to Tokyo...