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Back on the Bayou

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Album Review

On this CD, Grammy Award-winner Queen Ida gets together on the bayou in Louisiana with her brother, Al Rapone, for a zydeco reunion. The two hail from Lake Charles, LA, where the music of their Creole heritage was always an important part of their lives. Their musical fortunes took them to California, where their innovative zydeco sound made them the darlings of the San Francisco dance circuit. Rapone played sideman on guitar to Queen Ida's lead on accordion. He often wrote and produced for her and formed the Bon Temps Zydeco Band, which later became his sister's backup group. In the '80s, Rapone made a name for himself by performing solo in Europe. He then re-settled in his native Louisiana. On this album, he welcomes his sister as she leaves her home on the West Coast for a visit to the bayou country. From there, the siblings make some of the strictly good-time music for which they are known. Doubling up on accordions, they are joined by John Lindberg on bass, Richard Rowley on guitar, Bernard Anderson on flute and saxophone, and Ron Guillory on rub board and vocals. That they are happy to be in tune with their culture is evidenced from the first song, "Good Ol' Cajun Music," which feels like an old friend, familiar and satisfying. The hot sound continues with "Picayune Dancin' Man," "Bayou Fever," "Raisin' Cane," and "Gris Gris Woman." There's an homage to the traditional with "Evangeline" and to the contemporary with "E-Male Blues." The fun closes out on a high note with "Bluesiana," featuring the bluesy sound for which zydeco, Queen Ida, and Al Rapone are known.

Biography

Born: 1936 in Lake Charles, LA

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The brother of zydeco's renowned Queen Ida, accordionist and guitarist Al Rapone was not only a driving force behind the success of his sister but also a noted solo performer. Born Al Lewis in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1936, he first picked up the accordion at age 13, and following the family's relocation to California he was regularly performing live throughout the West Coast by the early 1950s. Within a few years, Rapone also began playing guitar, quickly becoming a noted sideman on the San Francisco...
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Back on the Bayou, Al Rapone
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