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The Big Squeeze

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Album Review

C.J. Chenier carries on the blues-drenched zydeco tradition of his father Clifton Chenier, but this effort, while competent, is just not as fun to listen to as a zydeco record ought to be. The arrangements by Vasti Jackson seem overwrought at times, as though the players (and there is no shortage here of guitarists, horns, or percussionists) are trying too hard. Bright highs and thick lows dominate the sound; one longs for more mid-range. C.J.'s voice sounds gruff, perhaps showing signs of wear and tear from ten years fronting the band he inherited from his father. Still, there are some fine cuts, like "Cheatin' on the Man You're Cheatin' With," "Lion's Den," and his dad's "No Shoes Zydeco," and C.J. remains one of the top talents on the zydeco circuit.

Biography

Born: September 28, 1957 in Port Arthur, TX

Genre: Blues

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

The son of late zydeco music pioneer Clifton Chenier, C.J. Chenier (born Clayton Joseph Chenier) has been dubbed "the crown prince of zydeco." Since inheriting leadership of his father's group, the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Chenier has continued to pay tribute to his father's sound and to expand the zydeco tradition. Chenier's interests in zydeco were sparked in his early twenties. Although he studied piano in the third grade, switched to the saxophone a year later, and received a scholarship to study...
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The Big Squeeze, C.J. Chenier
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