The death of John Warren Prejean, Sr. this past week (August 3, 2013) led to more thinking on the Creole Zydeco Farmers. On a 2005 release, My Big Foot Woman, the band consisted of Clarence “Jockey” Etienne on drums, John Warren Prejean, Sr. on diatonic (Cajun) accordion and vocals, Albert M. Francis also on accordion and vocal, Charles Goodman on Bass, Josep “Black” Rossyion on guitar and Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. (not a regular band member as the video below shows) on washboard. A 1999 recording …On the Road has Prejean, Etienne, but had Chester Chevalier on guitars and William Breaux on bass. And Come to Party (out of print, Lanor Records 1996) has Murphy Richard, Morris Francis, David Edmond, Chester Chevalier, Joseph McKinley Rossyion, and Clarence “Jockey” Etienne. Clarence “Jockey” Etienne was also the recipient of a 2013 Slim Harpo Award along with Warren Storm and Guitar Gable.
The Farmers were a fine though not overly showy band. Here are the Creole Zydeco Farmers at the Jazz Fest’s Fais Do Do Stage (no date) playing the Little Bob and the Lollipop’s perennial favorite, I got loaded (Little Bob’s version). It’s not a straight zydeco song, but there’s the accordion and rubboard. Their style comes from the era when zydeco and r&b crossed over a great deal. Listen to artists like Marcel Dugas and the Entertainers to hear this freedom of repertoire.