Rough Guide To Cajun & Zydeco
This new compilation of Louisiana music is definitely a mix of the traditional and the modern, along with a CD of zydeco-funk from Chubby Carrier (who also gets a track, "Zydeco Junkie," on the compilation). It's a disc full of surprises and joys, from the outright swamp rock of the Pine Leaf Boys singing "Allons Rock and Roll" to the modern R&B/zydeco mix of "Come Back to Me" from Lil' Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers. It's a mash-up that really shouldn't work yet turns out to be curiously charming. But in there, too, are acts like Geno Delafose and Bonsoir Catin, who cling hard to the tradition, and some like Cedric Watson, who takes things back even further with "Afro Zydeco," where some of zydeco's deep roots are brought to the fore. It's a wide range of music, and serves as a good reminder of how the genre has expanded since it was first recorded in the 1920s. Inevitably, there are some differences between the more rhythmic zydeco, which comes from the black tradition, and Cajun, with its roots in French Canada, but over the years the two have become very intertwined -- which is also well illustrated here.