Stanley Dural Jr., AKA Buckwheat Zydeco, makes his Alligator Records debut with a very strong and progressive showing of his prodigious talent. This son of a traditional Creole accordion player turned his back on the music of his family, preferring the funk of R & B until Clifton Chenier persuaded him to join his Red Hot Louisiana Band in the mid 70's. The switch from backing Joe Tex and Gatemouth Brown on the Hammond Organ, to Clifton's band and the eventual change to accordion showed him the power of Zydeco and he has not looked back, but like his Zydeco mentor has looked ahead and infiltrated all sorts of influences into his music. This disc with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) is his most adventurous undertaking and is a full display of his extraordinary talents both as a writer of five new songs and interpreter of writers as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart), and JJ Grey. These are songs that are stories that seem to run close to his heart, and he treats them with the respect that they deserve. When The Levee Breaks, the great Joe Mc Coy song made famous first by Memphis Minnie and later by Led Zepplin is given a whole new going over that carries a poignancy that brings it to life. A stand out track here is the Warren Haynes and Michael Barbiero penned Lay Your Burden Down that gives it an intensity that bursts with energy and life.
For this disc they have brought in a few people to help with the feel and passion. Slide guitar wizards Sonny Landreth on two cuts and Warren Haynes on the song he wrote, and Steve Berlin on baritone sax as well as Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on trombone, and JJ Grey on backing vocals and Wurlitzer piano all increase the density and richness that shines forth from this effort. This disc gives us a most complete look at the full scope of this long-lived and talented musician.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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