This disc was honored with the first Grammy ever given in the Zydeco category, and it comes closest to capturing Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience at their best, which is a live concert, because he and his longtime band mates are the epitome of energy unleashed. If you have never seen this act you are in for a treat, the man doesn't let up on the energy and to make it even better, his voice has only gotten better with the passage of time. Years ago I compared Simien's voice to Sam Cooke's at its smoothest, and with the passage of time, he has gotten better, even smoother and more emotionally expressive. There is not even a contender, he has the finest voice in Zydeco hands down, and one of the most communicative voices singing anywhere. He excites the audience and lifts them up as few performers can. This disc was recorded at concerts in Chicago, NYC, New Orleans, Cuba, Australia and West Africa.
Zydeco is at the core of what Simien does, and he doesn't hesitate to extend the boundaries of that genre, bringing in hints of reggae, Caribbean and African rhythms, and Gospel, and he does it without corrupting the inner beauty of the music, which itself is an amalgam of Blues and Louisiana Creole music. He was born in St. Landry Parish to play.
On this disc you get it all, four songs he and long time friend and musical collaborator, Danny Williams, wrote together, songs by Dylan and The Meters and so on. His very solid band led by Danny Williams on keyboards and vocals, Jose Alvarez on guitar and vocals, anchored by William Terry on bass, Keith Sonnier on drums and Ralph Fontenot on frottoir (rubboard). This is a unit that has been together for years and you can hear it in the tightness of the music, and the sheer joy the band exudes.
Congratulations on winning the first Grammy for Zydeco—it is long deserved.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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