Tireless global ambassador for (in rough order) zydeco, bayou Creole culture, Louisiana, rootsy Americana, world roots music, and the proverbial melting pot, Terrance Simien is a wonderful singer, fierce accordionist, and musical maverick. While in his heart remaining true to the raucous spirit of zydeco, Simien has spent his career virtually eliminating its boundaries, stirring in a dizzying array of elements from as near as New Orleans and as far afield as Cuba, Jamaica, and Africa. The warm, ecumenical mix hints at the artistic sweep of the Band, acknowledged as one of his key influences, but it's also considerably more, if still grounded in his pure soul voice and pumping accordion. Simien's lobbying led to the establishment of the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album Grammy award in 2007. That he won the category in 2008 for Live! Worldwide (AIM) speaks not of nepotism but of the delight audiences from New York to Mali took in hearing zydeco filtered through Dylan, ska, the Meters, and Hank Williams. Opening will be Windy City blues guitar ace Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, who also boasts an eclectic slew of influences, ranging from gospel to rock 'n' roll and even, lately, surfabilly.
Fri., July 18, 7:30 p.m., 2008