– The Bayou’s barnstorming bandleader, Buckwheat Zydeco, is back with his first studio disc in eight years, due in stores June 7.
The album, titled Jackpot!, on Tomorrow Recordings (distributed through ADA), combines soulful original tunes, inspired playing and singing, and the trademark exuberance that’s made him the world’s best-loved zydeco artist, and has earned Buckwheat Zydeco the sobriquet the world’s greatest party band." There’s plenty of Buckwheat’s signature accordion, and for the first time ever Buck specifically features his soulful mastery of the horizontal keyboard on a three-song Hammond B3 Encore featuring Organic Buckwheat."
Jackpot! opens with the strutting accordion-, organ- and horn-laced original I’m Gonna Love You Anyway" before swinging into It Must Be Magic," a tune that leads into a string of great new songs showcasing Grammy nominee and Emmy winner Stanley Buckwheat" Dural Jr. and his long-time touring band.
The sweetly funky title cut and the slinky guitar breaks of Rock, Boogie, Shout!" are due for road tests at festivals, theaters and clubs across the U.S. and Canada during the months ahead. Zydeco fans can expect more of the rootsy boogie that fuels Come And Get Yourself Some" and the Creole French Old Times La La" on the album, two of nine accordion-led originals on the disc.
Like discovering a beautiful new back road you’ve never been down before, Jackpot! takes a surprising and very cool side trip as it goes home with a trio of tunes offering a 18-minute encore presentation of Organic Buckwheat," reuniting Dural with his first love, the Hammond B3 organ.
Dural’s venerable keyboard playing stands up to anyone playing the B3 today -- whether it’s the wailing blues of Buck Goes Downtown," the jazzy tour de force Jimmy Smith tribute Buck Goes Uptown," or on the anthemic reggae of the finale, Buck Goes To Trenchtown." The Hammond organ only brings Buck back closer to his roots – as he first gained renown playing the Hammond in zydeco king Clifton Chenier’s legendary Red Hot Louisiana Band in the 1970s.
It was great to get back in the studio with a batch of new song ideas and my band," Dural notes. The band contains longtime stalwart, Lee Allen Zeno, on bass and vocals; the legendary Paul Lil' Buck" Sinegal, and Olivier Scoazec, lead guitars; Buckwheat’s son Sir Reginald Master Dural on rubboard and vocals; Gerard St. Julien on drums; and Curtis Watson, trumpet. Catherine Russell, who tours regularly with the likes of David Bowie and Jackson Brown, provides background vocals.
I’ve been playing my new B3 onstage for a while now, stretching out during encores, and for these sessions we pulled the organ back into the zydeco tunes while branching out in some new directions," Dural adds.
Longtime manager and co-producer Ted Fox says that In many ways this record feels like a fresh new start for us, like when we did our first major label release, On A Night Like This, back in the mid-'80s. Jackpot! totally captures Buckwheat Zydeco’s unique sound, which has only gotten more powerful and impressive during the last couple of decades. I don’t think anyone else is playing like this."
The record is Dural’s third on his own Tomorrow Recordings label, which is distributed by Alternative Distribution Alliance.
Buckwheat Zydeco’s trailblazing sound incorporates soul, blues and southwestern Louisiana’s Creole French zydeco music. The band comes from a land of rich cultures and heady influences, and they’ve taken their music to an unprecedented and ever-expanding number of international venues.
The new disc will no doubt generate new reviews like those that have followed the band’s recorded work and concert appearances. Anyone seeking the essence of Zydeco music as seen through the prism of rock, soul and jazz will certainly feel that they’ve hit the Jackpot!