Florida Cajun Zydeco Update! Newsletter
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Welcome to ISSUE #33 of FloridaCajunZydeco.com Update!
This newsletter showcases dance events from the FloridaCajunZydeco.com website as well as articles not on the website pages. This month the feature article is “New Cajun-Zydeco Music”.

EVERY FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAY in St. Petersburg you can find us dancing at EDGE OF 9 to some of the best Cajun and zydeco tunes DJ Jim has been able to uncover. Enjoy your own adventure in good music at each Zydeco Dance at Edge of 9 with new tunes and discovered gems from the past. More than 50% of the music is different every dance, and a lot of it has never been played at any previous dance. Tuesday, we are featuring MOSTLY NEW MUSIC from some of the artists in our feature article.

NEW AND IMPROVED on FloridaCajunZydeco.com is the “Stories” page. It contains archives of THIS NEWSLETTER, and each issue has a photo representing the artist featured in the main article. Check out some of the archived newsletters at www.FloridaCajunZydeco.com/stories.

Also, we're on FACEBOOK in Groups (Florida Cajun Zydeco Dancers) and with our own Page (Florida Cajun Zydeco). Check us out and "Like" us to see the posts and reminders throughout the week. This is a good way to get your zydeco fix between newsletters.

FloridaCajunZydeco.com loves to travel and fits neatly in your pocket on your smart phone. Check the website for dance information wherever you may travel.

Regards, Jim Hance


New Music Featured at Tuesday's Oct. 6 Dance

TUESDAY, OCT. 6 CAJUN-ZYDECO DANCE:  Join us 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays at Edge of 9, our new dance venue. Edge of 9 address is 900 Central Avenue, though it is best to enter the parking lot to the venue from 1st Avenue South. The venue is on First Avenue South and you can identify it easily from the street by its red awning and sign. The dance music will be played softly until 7 p.m. when adjoining businesses will be closing. The first hour will be a social hour with a dance lesson, and you can bring food in from Subway (which closes at 7 p.m.) around the corner or Ricky P’s a couple blocks away. There is no cover charge, a parking lot accommodating 40 cars, a painted cement dance floor and a sound system rated “A+” by local media reviewers. Questions or requests? Jim Hance (j-hance@wowpromotions.com). We strive to make this dance party the best three hours of your week!


Spotlight on:
Cajun and Zydeco Music
Released in the Past Year

Three of zydeco's most popular artists (Leroy Thomas, Chris Ardoin and Lil' Nate) have released new albums in the past few weeks. This is just a sampling of new music released in the past few months. And some of the music is amazing. Zydeco remakes of past pop hits. A genre-blend of Brazilian samba and zydeco. An amazing waltz from the least expected artist. I will be featuring new music on Tuesday at our Cajun Zydeco Dance at Edge of 9. It will be a fascinating musical journey to unexpected destinations, all very danceable and very fun. So here are sixteen albums which have come out in the past few months which you should enjoy.

Chris Ardoin, Zydeko Fever

An informal pole of local dancers puts Chris Ardoin at or near the top of zydeco artists. His tunes are typically 155 beats per minutes, a fusion of zydeco with R&B which is infectious, pleasant on the ears and very easy to dance to. I can play nothing but Chris Ardoin music all evening and won't get any complaints from the dancers. A third generation member of a famed musical dynasty, Chris Ardoin followed in the musical traditions established by his father Lawrence "Black" Ardoin; his grandfather, "la la" legend Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, and his distant cousin, Creole virtuoso Amedé Ardoin. Born in 1981, Chris made his public debut at the age of four playing with his father at a Texas gumbo cook-off. Just five years later, he backed his grandfather during an appearance at Carnegie Hall. The child prodigy also soon joined his father's new band, Lagniappe, as a full-time member.  But like his father, Chris eventually rejected the confines of the previous generation's zydeco to pursue his own muse. With his older brother, Sean, he formed the band Double Clutchin', a name representative of the kind of repeated bass drum kicks which define the funky "new zydeco" sound. After 24 years in the music biz, Chris has probably produced more original song recordings at age 34 than any other zydeco artist. Chris Ardoin's music has been fused with country, hip-hop and R&B. Zydeko Fever continues in this direction fused with a lot of R&B. I will be playing the one waltz, "La Louisiana Waltz" and the title song "Zydeko Fever" at Tuesday's Cajun-Zydeco Dance at Edge of 9. 

Lil' Nathan, Face 2 Face

Lil Nate’s sound, experience and stage presence actually goes back to his childhood. At the age of 5, he was playing rubboard in his father’s legendary band, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, one of the legendary Zydeco bands which has toured the country. He moved on to the drums and then the accordion, finding in his father an excellent teacher and role model. In 2002, at the age of 14, Lil Nate was a freshman at Lafayette’s Northside High School when he recorded his first CD with the Big Timers, Zydeco Ballin.  Lil Nate followed-up with his second CD release Doin’ It Big Time. Face 2 Face, released just a couple weeks ago includes a lot of interesting arrangements, not the least of which is a remake of a Carl Carlton funk hit from 1981 into a bonafide zydeco dance tune.

I will be playing my favorite tunes from the new album on Tuesday which include "She's a Bad Mamma Jamma", "Broken Hearted", "Shame on Me" and "Get Yo Money Up."

Leroy Thomas, We Love You Leroy!

From a Dan Willging review of this CD: "...In other ways, Thomas gains new ground by taking chances. A couple tracks blend zydeco and Cajun (“Zydeco Two Stepping,” “Cherokee Waltz”), thanks to co-producer Travis Matte’s swirling twin fiddles. The swinging rendition of Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say” is not only apropos given zydeco’s close kinship to blues and R&B as well as Charles’ Louisiana connection, but is all the more fun when Buckwheat Zydeco comes out of nowhere for a killer ride on keys. When the results are this good, five years between releases is practically a blink of an eye." There is lots of talent on this album, and on Tuesday you can enjoy dancing to "Cherokee Waltz"  and "I Tried." 

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Voyageurs

The rocking release of this past summer for me was the Mamou Playboys’ Voyageurs. With a decidedly rock and blues sound fused with traditional Cajun instruments, Steve Riley and his band (now with Kevin Wimmer on fiddle and vocals) takes us on a new adventure to places we’ve never been. As World Music News Wire describes it, Voyageurs bursts with the full growl and sparkle of the region’s music, honed over decades. With the new member, the band finds the funky, unexpected crossroads of rock, blues, country, zydeco, and just about every other branch of Americana out there. It’s quite a trip, from East Texas wedding travails (beloved Cajun singalong “Brasse Donc, Le Couche-Couche”), to the wild journey of Mardi Gras (Dewey Balfa’s galloping classic “Le danse de Mardi Gras”), to saying a playful good riddance to your hometown (“Au Revoir Grand Mamou”).

“You bring what you need with you and you keep pushing forward,” explains Riley, describing the band’s journey and the Cajun experience. “A lot of the songs on the record are about travels.There is all this imagery that’s really striking, all the things you had to go though to leave your home and take your music and your message around the world.”

Tuesday, dance to "Bernadette", "Boozoo's Blues" and "Madame Faillelle" from this album.

Al Berard, Incredible Journey

Al Berard passed away a couple years ago, but passed his love of music to hundreds of other musicians and thousands of fans throughout his life. I saw him play the Cajun fiddle and mandolin but his real love was the guitar. This album of two dozen rock, jazz, blues, and country tunes, mostly original compositions, will be pure joy to those who knew Al, or those who just want to enjoy some great music by a master of the guitar. 

Bayou Brothers, High Roller Zydeco

Winner of the local "Best Blues Band" award at the San Diego Music Awards and the hardest working band I know, this album by the Bayou Brothers is an homage to Beau Jocque, Boozoo Chavis, Clifton Chenier, blues, rock'n'roll and R&B all in one nice package. My favorite tune from this collection is a remake of Roy Head's "Treat Her Right." (If you want to see a singer with some fancy dance moves who could give the great James Brown some competition, check Roy Head out on YouTube.) I will be playing "Don Don's BBQ" from this album on Tuesday evening. You can find this album on CD Baby.

Beth McKee, Sugarcane Revival

McKee has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Loretta Lynn. Her music features a variety of influences, including blues, zydeco, southern rock, country, and gospel. On The Morton Report, Bill Bentley described her 2015 release Sugarcane Revival as "kind of like if Laura Nyro had been roommates with Carole King and Bonnie Raitt on Decatur Street in the French Quarter during the ‘70s." McKee has described her previous album Next to Nowhere as autobiographical in that the lyrics chronicle her decision to record again following the breakup of the band Evangeline. Next to Nowhere was well received critically, with its success partly due to McKee's focus on her background and roots, both musically and otherwise.

Dwayne Dopsie, Calling Your Name

“America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin, plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies stereotypes. The production on this album is much improved over some previous recordings.

Feufollet, Two Universes

This is a Cajun-influenced album of original country, 50s rock, roots and folk tunes. The album includes great country two-steps, chas, west coast swing, a nightclub two step, two slow waltzes with a lot of guitar, but "Cette Fois" is the only tune which bears very much resemblance to the band's previous Cajun work from Cow Island Hop and En Couleurs where the Cajun fiddle and accordion were prominent. If you love country music this will be right down your alley. 

J Paul Jr., "Who Ya Daddy"

J Paul Jr. did a lot of recording about eight years ago, but these two singles are his only recordings in some time. I will be playing "Who Ya Daddy" on Tuesday.

Je M'endors, Cajun and Creole Lullabies

Je M'endors is a new CD of Cajun and Creole lullabies that are played for newborns as they begin their lives at Lafayette General Medical Center. Lullabies for this recording are performed by local Cajun and Creole musicians. "We wanted to celebrate the miracle of childbirth with something really special," said Geoff Daily, executive director of the Lafayette General Foundation. "And this exemplifies the Cajun and Creole culture of this area. Most of the 14 selections on the CD are sung in French and feature artists such as Zachary Richard, Steve Riley, Terrance Simien, Curley Taylor and Ann Savoy. The star-studded group of musicians perform their own interpretations of old classics, as well as original tunes created just for the project. The album is available on iTunes.

Jerome Batiste, Funky Good Time

This is one of Lola Love's favorite albums on The Zydeco Workout radio program. I will be playing the Boozoo Chavis cover of "Johnny Billy Goat" and the title song, "Funky Good Time" at Tuesday's zydeco dance.

La Récolte, Le Deuxieme

This five-member band consists of an array of talented musicians from the heart of Acadiana. The name of the band, La Récolte (The Harvest), was influenced by their desire to keep traditions alive, and inspired the release of their debut CD Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes? The band earned the distinction of “Best New CD of the Year” for the Annual Le Cajun Awards 2014 sponsored by the Cajun French Music Association. "Fai L'amour Dans Le Poulailler" is a Cajun remake of the Coasters' "Yakety Yak" sung in Cajun French and "Cajun Hot Shoes" is a lively dance tune sure to keep the dance floor filled.

The Revelers, Get Ready

Founding members of the Red Stick Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys, "two groups at the vanguard of the Louisiana cultural renaissance," joined to form the The Revelers specializing in original Cajun, country, blues, and zydeco. At Tuesday's Zydeco Dance, I will be playing two tunes from Get Ready: a Cajun number "Toi, Tu Veaux Pus de Moi" and a song with a zydeco tempo, "Please Baby Please".

Rosie Ledet, Raw!

All original music written by Rosie and backed up by her band featuring members from the legendary Beau Jacque band: Chuck Bush on bass and Boss Hog on drums. The hard rockin' electric guitar is very prominent on this album. The album shows many styles of zydeco but always keeps it real with the authentic zydeco beat. The album hass undertones of rock, funk, blues, country, and dance music. Rosie Ledet fans will love her latest album. "Raw!" pretty well sums up all of Rosie's recordings. I will be playing "No Do Over" and "Zydeco People" on Tuesday.

Ruben Moreno, Compliqué

Ruben Moreno performed for us in Florida just a couple weeks ago, and played some great covers of artists like Roy Carrier, Leroy Thomas, Geno Delafose and Jeffery Broussard. Ruben has shared the stage with these greats, and knows the magic of playing standards to keep the dancers happy. Some folks who danced to Ruben at the Ninigret festival a couple weeks before said they enjoyed his performance in Florida more. But Ruben's original music is even more interesting to me than the covers. Compliqué includes some sophisticated contemporary R&B-influenced arrangements with gorgeous vocals and harmonies.  Story-telling is at the center of his music. “Trailride” opens with a Brazilian-styled scat intro, “Fantasy” is spiced with conga-rattling salsa and “Intoxicating” glides with gospel chord changes. There are some good things on this disc, and I look forward to discovering where Ruben will take us next. You can find this second album by Ruben Moreno on CD Baby.


Tab Benoit at Skipper's (Tampa)

October 17 and 18, Louisiana Cajun blues artist Tab Benoit is at Skippers both Saturday and Sunday. Skippers Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd., Tampa 33613. More info at skipperssmokehouse.com. They have a ticket special price if you buy tickets for both Saturday and Sunday. The show should be different each night. That’s the way Tab rolls. Tab really draws a crowd, so if you want to park on Skipper's property you had better show up early.


Friday, October 30th JB's Zydeco Zoo plays the Halloween Party at Bradfordville Blues Club, 7152 Moses Lane, Tallahassee, FL, 32309. Phone 850-906-0766. Website. Dress up as your favorite zydeco zoo animal.


Buckwheat Zydeco at Skippers (Tampa)

Saturday, October 31 at 8 p.m. Opening band will be Gumbo Boogie.

If you’ve gotten into zydeco music, or felt its influence, or watched the world celebrate this great aspect of Louisiana culture over the past thirty years, it’s been because of Buckwheat Zydeco. Many millions witnessed the excitement when Jimmy Fallon chose him to open the final episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The show opened “cold” with a tight close up of Buck’s accordion, then – joined by Fallon on guitar and backed by the Roots – they kicked off a rousing rendition of “On A Night Like This.” That song was the title track of Buckwheat Zydeco’s groundbreaking first Island Records album and was responsible for bringing the unique sound of zydeco into the musical mainstream in 1987. It was also the first major-label zydeco record, and a Grammy nominee. No other zydeco artist has come close to selling as many records or exposing the music to more people around the world. The band claims the three largest selling zydeco albums of all time. See Buckwheat Zydeco at Skippers Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa 33613, Phone 813-971-0666. Info at www.skipperssmokehouse.com


Dance to Florida Bands


Orlando’s Cajun band Porchdogs is playing at Biketoberfest at Iron Horse Saloon in Ormond Beach, FL Oct. 14-18.

Gumbo Boogie is playing at several venues in the Tampa Bay area throughout the month of October. They will be at Ace's Live in Bradenton on October 11,  and opening for Buckwheat Zydeco at Skipper's Smokehouse on Oct. 31..

Find more information on each of these bands and their engagements at floridacajunzydeco.com/calendar.html.



Here are your last opportunities to attend a Cajun-Zydeco festival this year.

Festivals Acadiens et Creoles (Oct. 9-11 in Lafayette, LA). Bands include Geno Delafose, Jeffery Broussard, Kevin Naquin, Terry and the Zydeco Bad boys, Travis Matte, Wayne Toups ZydeCajun, Sheryl Cormier, Ruben Moreno, Magnolia Sisters, Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Feufollet, Chubby Carrier, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and Keith Frank.

Magnolia Fest (Oct. 15-18 in Live Oak, FL).  Bands include Donna The Buffalo, New Orleans Suspects, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Avett Brothers, Del McCoury Band, Habenero Honeys.

Creole United Festival (Oct. 17 in Sausalito, CA) Bands have not been announced yet, but likely bands will include Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, Ruben Romero and Zydeco Re-Evolution, and Sean Ardoin and Zydekool.

South Louisiana Blackpot Festival and Cookoff (Oct. 30-31 in Lafayette, LA). Bands have not been announced yet.

Check http://floridacajunzydeco.com/festivals.html for festival websites and other information. FloridaCajunZydeco.com will begin listing 2016 festival dates in coming weeks, though specific lineups at most events have yet to be determined.


On The Calendar

November 20 --- Tom Rigney and Flambeau returns to Clearwater Beach for Suncoast Jazz Classic and the Friday Night Swing Dance. 

December 31 --- New Years Eve party at Skippers in Tampa with Donna The Buffalo

January 1 --- Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe appear at Ace's Live in Bradenton.

January 9 --- Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys play in Atlanta for ACZA.

March 10 --- Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas play in Miami Beach


Still Free…

and worth every penny! I hope you have enjoyed this issue of FloridaCajunZydeco Update!

Please forward to friends who are interested in Cajun and zydeco music and dancing…or just reading about it!


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Regards, Jim Hance