Buckwheat Zydeco

Before discovering the myriad pleasures of zydeco after signing on as an organist with zydeco king Clifton Chenier, Stanley Dural Jr. was infatuated with R&B, soul, and funk. Those elements, along with rock, helped distinguish Dural's own incarnation of zydeco after Chenier inspired him to pick up the accordion and launch his own band. On the 30th anniversary of re-emerging as Buckwheat Zydeco, and newly signed to Alligator Records, Buck has issued his most eclectic album, Lay Your Burden Down, which is rife with rock and R&B, as well as his fine, soulful vocals, gospel, calypso, reggae, and swamp pop. Sometimes there's precious little zydeco involved, and Buck eschews accordion entirely in favor of organ or synth, although there's a nice taste of the genuine article on Buck's Mardi Gras anthem "Throw Me Something, Mister." Still, it's a masterfully realized album, produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, who also contributes sax, joining an all-star guest roster that includes Trombone Shorty, J.J. Grey, and Warren Haynes. Another Chenier alum, Sonny Landreth, contributes searing guitar to a wicked cover of Memphis Minnie's (and Led Zeppelin's) "When the Levee Breaks," Buck's contribution to the post-Katrina canon. Elsewhere, he convincingly covers Grey, Haynes, Springsteen, Jimmy Cliff, and even Captain Beefheart. But Buck never strays far, so expect him to pump the squeezebox for all he's worth and regale the Dakota with a blissful bayou blowout. $28 at 7 p.m.; $17 at 9:30 p.m. (Photo by HorsePunchKid)
Tue., Sept. 1, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2009

 
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