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Rounder Heritage: Boozoo Chavis - Johnnie Billy Goat

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Album Review

Another kudo to Rounder for getting this retrospective gem out before the untimely passing of this icon of zydeco music. This disc is conscientiously culled from some sparkling live performances in Lake Charles, LA, and from his previous Rounder and Goldband releases. This was a man who took the time to give back to the culture that fostered his music and do all he could to promote up-and-coming musicians. This is zydeco — a mixture of Creole music fused with rhythm & blues — which is made for partying and dancing. His live performances were just a nonstop whirl from the opening notes to the last with the crowds drenched in sweat and screaming for more, no matter what area of the country he played. His whole recording span is realized here, from the slow-burning 1955 regional hit "Paper in My Shoe" to 1998's up-tempo "Who Stole My Monkey." That raw rocking sound that he was known for all his life is pervasive throughout this disc. This is the best collection of one of the very stalwarts of zydeco music, as well as just an excellent example of what this man could do with songs that were benchmarks in other genres, such as Bob Wills' standard "Dance All Night." The sound quality is excellent and it contains an exemplary mixture of songs.


Born: 23 October 1930 in Lake Charles, LA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Boozoo Chavis (born Wilson Anthony Chavis) was one of the pioneers of zydeco, the Cajun and blues hybrid originating in southwest Louisiana. Although his self-composed 1954 single, "Paper in My Shoes," was the first zydeco hit, Chavis was distrustful of the music industry and refused to perform publicly or record again until 1984. In an interview featured in the 1990 book, The New Folk Music, Chavis explained, "I got gypped out of my record. I get frustrated, sometimes. I love to play, but, when...
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Rounder Heritage: Boozoo Chavis - Johnnie Billy Goat, Boozoo Chavis
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