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Album Review

This retrospective collection draws on material from Beau Jocque's four previous studio recordings for the Rounder label: Beau Jocque Boogie (1993), Pick Up on This! (1994), Gonna Take You Downtown (1996), and Check It Out, Lock It In, Crank It Up! (1998). When Beau Jocque died of a heart attack in 1999, the world of zydeco music lost one of its most exciting talents, a man who took the traditional sounds he had learned at his father's knee and combined them with elements of rock & roll, funk, R&B, and even reggae. Not everything on this collection is spectacular — his adaptation of the John Lee Hooker classic "Boogie Chillun" is more interesting in theory than in practice (a six-minute-long one-chord blues is just as boring when you play it zydeco style as it is when you play it boogie style), and "Brownskin Woman" is an only partially successful attempt at an original blues-zydeco fusion. But the ska-inflected "Don't Tell Your Mama, Don't Tell Your Papa" is a pure delight, as is the rollicking "She Wants to Sell My Monkey." And "Give Him Cornbread" is a modern classic that will live on for decades. Recommended.

Classics, Beau Jocque and The Zydeco Hi-Rollers
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