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Classics: Buckwheat Zydeco

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Album Review

Rounder has been working the zydeco genre pretty heavily for quite a while, but the last few years have been something of a highlight for the label, with multiple compilations of the finest pieces coming out. As such, a few greatest-hits compilations from the biggest stars on the label were certainly in order, including this album of Buckwheat Zydeco hits comprised from earlier Rounder albums. As Rounder actually had only four previous albums from Buckwheat, two of which were remasters and compilations, there are in actuality only two albums making up the origins of Classics here. Nonetheless, it's an excellent album. With four tracks from Turning Point and six more from Waitin' for My Ya-Ya, the disc is already filled with enjoyable works. Regrettably, some of the classics from the Island recordings aren't here, but then again the Rounder focus leaves a stronger foundation of zydeco with a better balance of R&B infusions than some other albums. Here, the tempo is almost always hot, and the band is always groovin'. At the forefront of the sound is Buckwheat himself, powering the songs with his charisma and joyousness. As with many greatest-hits compilations, the album makes an excellent starting point for new listeners and curious newcomers, but the ideal items for acquainted listeners would be the original albums themselves. Pick it up as a collector, a completist, or a newcomer alike, but go for both Turning Point and Waitin' for My Ya-Ya if you're just looking for more Buckwheat after hearing the Island albums.


Born: 14 November 1947 in Lafayette, LA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporary zydeco's most popular performer, accordionist Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural was the natural successor to the throne vacated by the death of his mentor Clifton Chenier; infusing his propulsive party music with strains of rock and R&B, his urbanized sound -- complete with touches of synthesizer and trumpet -- married traditional and contemporary zydeco with uncommon flair, in the process reaching a wider mainstream audience than any artist before him. Dural was born in Lafayette, Louisiana,...
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Classics: Buckwheat Zydeco, Buckwheat Zydeco
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