New Orleans’ WDSU-TV Channel 8 aired this short (2:58) video recently with background on the rubboard used so much in zyeco music.  It shows one being manufactured, in stop motion, by Tee-Don Landry.  Landry claims it was his father who made the first one for Clifton Chenier’s brother Cleveland to play in the band.  A transcription is included, if you’re having problems with Louisiana-accented English.


The excellent documentary film “Dry Wood” can now be viewed online for free.  As the description says: “A glimpse into the life, food, and Mardi Gras celebrations of black Creoles in French Louisiana, featuring the stories and music of “Bois Sec” Ardoin and Canray Fontenot. Dry Wood is one of a number of Les Blank’s critically acclaimed films on Lousiana life and culture. Hot Pepper, a film on zydeco great Clifton Chenier, is a companion to Dry Wood. These films and many other important documentary films about American folklife are available on DVD at Les Blank’s Flower Films.”  It is for “Home streaming only.”

Here is the great Cajun accordionist and singer, Ray Abshire, performing with Balfa Toujours at the 2011 Festivals Acadiens et Créoles in Lafayette, LA.  From left: Courtney Granger (violin), Kevin Wimmer (violin), Ray Abshire (accordion), Christine Balfa (guitar) and Yvette Landry (bass).  And sorry, but don’t know the drummer.  Also don’t recognize the song, and it’s one of the smaller performance spaces, not the main stage or the heritage stage. 

Here are Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys performing an instrumental version of Zydeco a pas sale (also known as Zydeco sont pas sale or The snap beans aren’t salty) at the Institute of Musical Traditions in Rockville, Maryland on May 21, 2012.  He’s using the smaller diatonic accordion, so it sounds different from the usual Clifton Chenier version we’re used to.  Broussard was a member of Zydeco Force before they broke up.  This is a very professional-looking video, made with multiple cameras. 

No accordion here, this is a version of BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet’s long-time favorite song Zydeco gris gris.  Since Jimmy Breaux left the band, BEauSoleil has not had a regular accordionist.  At the June 2014 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, it was Jo-El Sonnier doing the honors.  Wonder if they’ll add a regular accordion player to the band.  BeauSoleil tours a lot, so look for ’em in your town soon!  And it was recorded underground in Tennessee.  

One hour and twenty-six minutes of zydeco excitement; here’s Buckwheat Zydeco in Milwaukee.  This was a student produced project with Student Ops, and they did a great job!  This isn’t someone with a single low-res camera, it’s HD all the way with student producer Morgan Kauphusman and student director Justin Avery..  There’s all the performer to audience interaction, as well as a big band, with trumpet and saxophone.  Eh toi! 

YouTube user Louisiana Stars has posted a video of a 2014 performance of “Kalinda” by Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas.   As usual, Nathan Williams wears his trademark hat and sunglasses and does a little dance step as he plays; that’s not easy with a big old piano-key accordion strapped to his chest!    Williams is an under-appreciated musician, with eight main albums released by Rounder, and three live performance at Jazz Fest, as well as many individual tracks on compilation albums.  As he says:  “You got to wonder where you’re going but never forget where you came from.”

Let’s go (Rounder, 2000)
I’m a Zydeco Hog (live at Rock ‘n’ Bowl) (Rounder, 1997)
Follow Me Chicken (Rounder, 1993)
Your Mama Don’t Know (Rounder, 1992)
Steady Rock (Rounder, 1992)

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2011, 2012 and 2013 ( – search artist in pull-down box)

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