John Delafose appears here on his arm with the cows and the chickens and his son Geno. He talks about the dying out of the Louisiana Creole French language. Halfway through the action switches to a live performance. That’s son Geno on drums. After John’s sudden death in 1994, at Richard’s Club, following a day and a night performance, Geno went on to continue his father’s legacy. John was one of my favorites, especially after Clifton Chenier died. He played a diatonic accordion, not a piano key. He mostly sang in French. And he played occasional waltzes. His sound was bluesy, but was consistent with old-time Creole music, like Amede Ardoin’s. The dancers in this video are not experienced zydeco dancers; they’re just sort of shuffling around, so this must not have been filmed in south Louisiana. There’s a line dance going on at one point. The tags include “Eifel tower,” so perhaps it’s in France. He did travel for the U.S. State Department, to Nigeria, hence his song Nairobi Special. In the early nineties, as his health declined, John dropped the accordion and took up the fiddle. I heard him interviewed at Jazz Fest in that era; he said it was “doctor’s orders.” And Geno became the group’s accordion player. John’s last album, Blues Stay Away From Me, features John on fiddle and Geno on accordion. It’s got a killer version of the Scott Playboy special. That’s the album Heartaches and Hot Steps they’re waving around at about. It’s common practice in south Louisiana for someone to sell the artist’s recordings during a performance, so perhaps that’s what’s happening. 4:37. Bonus points: note the New Orleans Saints cap John’s wearing.
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