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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Buckwheat Zydeco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buckwheat Zydeco. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Buckwheat Zydeco launching the first ever zydeco reality show, with Buckwheat's World Co-authored by Ted Fox

Co-authored by Ted Fox
I'm 66 years old, and I've been making music my whole life. I always knew that would be the way I'd make my living. I'm still doing that, but things have sure changed! I've seen it all and been involved in it all from making local records to now creating a YouTube series, Buckwheat's World, to get my music out there.
When I was just nine years old they used to sneak me in the back door of clubs in Lafayette, Louisiana so I could get up on stage and play the Hammond B3 with whoever was headlining. By the time I was a young teenager I was in Sammy and the Untouchables, and we backed up many of my heroes like Ray Charles and Fats Domino. In my twenties I put together a big 15-piece funk outfit with a five girl chorus called Buckwheat and Hitchhikers and we played all over the South. In the mid '70s I joined the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, playing the B3 -- and he showed me what zydeco music was all about. After that I taught myself to play accordion and sing lead, and I went out on my own with Buckwheat Zydeco in 1979.

At first I never thought I'd get to make a record. I jumped at the first chance to do that and got involved in some early situations I regret to this day. Some better deals came along, and in 1987 I signed on with Chris Blackwell at Island Records and made "On A Night Like This" with Ted Fox -- the first-ever major label zydeco album. We made four albums for Island in the late 80s and early 90s, and with their great reach and promotion we all did well at a great time for the record business.

Then Island, and it seemed like every other cool label, got gobbled up by some big corporation and then another big corporation. We bounced around like lots of other artists to other labels which were there and then they weren't. This was not a good scene: Music and the careers of musicians need to be tended to like growing crops; you have to pay attention, be patient, keep working on them and help them thrive.
Ted, who is also my manager, and I got pretty fed up with this, and I told him, "we can do bad on our own!" So, like some other artists at the time, we started our own record label. We called it Tomorrow Recordings named after my daughter, Tomorrow, but also because we felt it was the way of the future. That started out well, but then we, like the whole industry, fell into some giant sinkhole that it seemed no one saw coming.

I'll let someone else much smarter than me try to explain what happened to the music business when the internet started booming. All I know is that not many people seemed to want to buy music any more. Luckily, we've always had a great touring career, and playing live is still where it's at for us, as it is for most artists these days.
We adapted and sold digital music, and we still do of course, but it's a drop in the bucket. We even went back to make a record with Alligator, one of the best blues labels, and "Lay Your Burden Down" won a Grammy. Critics dug it, but not enough records sold.
We bitched and moaned about how difficult things were, but baby, you can't beat The Wheat! We saw that everyone was going to YouTube to find, listen to and watch music. All our old Island music videos were there, people were posting videos of us playing at festivals and clubs. It took some getting used to, because that's our stuff, and it seemed wrong that people were using it. Then we began to see how cool it was that we had so many fans and music lovers who wanted to see us and share their experiences with their friends and the world. That's not bad, that's great! I always say "don't criticize what you don't understand."

Ted said to me, "we should do our own video series and we'll start the Buckwheat Channel on YouTube." So that's what we're doing! If people want to get their music from YouTube that's where we want to be. Our Buckwheat's World series will show people how we do it: filming and recording our music live at one of our favorite places, Dockside Studio, on the Vermilion River bayou back home. Our pals, Louis Alvarez and Andy Kolker, award-winning film makers, are going to shoot it, and also follow me around a bit so our fans can get a better idea about what my world is all about.
We hope people want Buckwheat's World, just like we hoped people would like and buy our records. Only now we're doing it through a Kickstarter campaign, and if people like it and want it, they'll back us. You've got to go along to get along, I always say! We'll see what happens.
Buckwheat Zydeco (a.k.a. Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr.) has been spreading the word about zydeco music and his Louisiana heritage all over the world for more than 30 years. He recently opened the final Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Buckwheat Zydeco tours frequently throughout the year, and they have just launched a Kickstarter campaign for "Buckwheat's World" - a unique YouTube video series.

Kickstarter Campaign Launched to Fund Project, Ends March 31

Buckwheat Zydeco has always been at the forefront of introducing zydeco music to new audiences: The Louisiana icon and musical legend was the first zydeco artist with a major label record deal, the first on a national television show, the first to work with rock superstars, the first with music in a national television commercial. Now he aims to be the first to create and present an online video series with zydeco at the center.

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. and long-time collaborator, Ted Fox, will create a YouTube video series called Buckwheat’s World, and just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund it.

Buckwheat’s World will be a fresh new way to showcase Buckwheat Zydeco’s music and present a behind-the-scenes look at the richness and enchanting character of southwest Louisiana culture. In addition to new, live musical performances from the band, Buckwheat’s World episodes will feature slice-of-life scenes of Dural doing what he does every day. He might be working on one of his vehicles, tending his menagerie of animals, boiling crawfish, hanging out with friends and band mates, fishing on the bayou, taking care of Buckwheat Zydeco business. All the things that make up Buckwheat’s World will be shot and directed by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, celebrated documentary filmmakers who got their start in Louisiana with such classics as “Yeah You Rite!” and “Louisiana Boys—Raised on Politics”.

They’ve won two Peabody Awards and kept audiences laughing and thinking with such films as “American Tongues”, “Vote for Me” and “People Like Us." Their latest film “Getting Back to Abnormal," about New Orleans politics, will be on the POV series on PBS July 14.

Kickstarter has been very supportive of the project. It just made Buckwheat’s World its “Project of the Day,” and it has been a Music Staff Pick. The campaign is ongoing and ends on March 31.

Buckwheat Zydeco also started a new side career as a blogger for the Huffington Post. His first post called, “Mardi Gras Is The Flip Side of the Blues,” posted recently.
Jazz and Heritage Gala If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rounder Records : History's Swamp People Celebrate The History and Culture of the Deep Delta - New Release Review

I just received History's Swamp People, and new release from Rounder Records. This 13 track compilation showcases current and past masters of regional music. Opening with Steel Bill's Swamp People, this is a Cajun house party. Dominated by a contemporary blend of funk, fiddle and blues rock, this track also features a nice clean guitar solo from Bill. Next up is a 1969 hit track, Amos Moses, by Jerry Reed. This track was always a crowd favorite and has just a taste of country picking on an otherwise rock track. Buckwheat Zydeco comes on pure cajun with Zydeco La Louisianne and an accordion romp. Everybody loves Tony Joe Whites Polk Salad Annie, up next and another top track from 1969. Amanda Shaw plays French Jig, a cajun fiddle track accompanied primarily by drums. Nice track. The Neville Brothers come on with the high polish on Fire On The Bayou, a funky track with sophisticated instrumentals and vocals. This is a track with real movement and voodoo overtones. Very cool. Chris Ardoin is up next with What's In That Bayou, an accordion lead swinger. Nice vocals harmonies and concise instrumentation makes this one of the coolest tracks on the release. Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet delivers a traditional arrangement of Kolinda in french for a real flavor of the regional roots. Hank Williams (Sr.) is a really great addition here with his version of Jambalaya. This of curse is an absolute standard of delta country roots. Excellent! Zachary Richard performs a funky hop track, Cocodrie, with lots of horns and and solid vocals. Keys provide much of the bottom of this track and there is also a really tasty guitar solo here as well. Jumpin' Johnny Sansone lays down the Crawfish Walk, a springy twisting rocker. Nice sax work and hot harp plays over this modern track. Very cool. D.L. Menhard plays Cajun Saturday Night, another regional country style track. This track has a real warm, welcoming sound to it with slide and fiddle. I really like it. Bobby Charles' 1955 hit See You Later Alligator, is a great finish to what is not just a compliation of related tracks but actually a pretty cool cd to listen to when you need a pick me up.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Friday, April 26, 2013

Swamp People'® CD celebrates music/culture of Deep Delta


Collection from the heart of alligator country
featuresthe Neville Brothers, Hank Williams, Jerry Reed,
Tony Joe White, Buckwheat Zydeco, Zachary Richard, 
 Bobby Charles and introducing Steel Bill
Thirteen-song set, due out May 21 on Rounder Records
through Concord Music Group, in partnership with HISTORY®,
captures the spirit of the top-rated series of the same name
NEW ORLEANS, La. — The storied backcountry of southern Louisiana is a place of rich history and fascinating cultural lineage. Its inhabitants — the Cajuns and their “Swamp People” brethren — are part of a unique tradition that dates back some three centuries to the immigration of Acadian refugees. In the 21st century, the region boasts not only a flavorful cuisine, distinctive music and a vastly vibrant culture, but also a deep and reverent appreciation for the land that continues to provide these people with refuge and a way of life.
Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, has partnered with HISTORY® to celebrate that legacy with Swamp People®, a 13-song compilation that showcases the music of current and past masters whose styles and sensibilities are rooted in this region.  Set for release on May 21, Swamp People®, which serves as an ideal companion piece to the Cajun-flavored series, features the music of the Neville Brothers, Tony Joe White, Buckwheat Zydeco, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Hank Williams, Beausoleil with Michael Doucet and several others. Many of the tracks have been culled from Rounder’s vast catalog of southern Louisiana music and the title track, which leads off the set, is a new song written specifically for Swamp People® by vocalist Steel Bill, aka Billy Joe Tharpe, a native of Livingston Parish, Louisiana, who could best be described as a country rapper. The track is a favorite of Troy Landry, the inimitable, gator-hunting lead from the Swamp People® TV series.
“There are so many great songs about alligator hunting and swamp life, hit records that reach back 50 years and more recent material from the Rounder catalog,” says Scott Billington, Grammy®-winning producer, Vice President of A&R at Rounder and producer of Swamp People® (who also plays harmonica on Steel Bill’s title track). “I love this music and this culture, and I’ve spent a great part of my life in the region. These joyful, wonderful songs are the perfect complement to the show, and, I think Swamp People® fans will be delighted.”
Executive Producer Pete Elkins agrees: "The joie de vivre of the Swamp People® is present in their lifestyle, food and music. Rounder Records and the entire Concord Music team, have captured the spirit and joy of swampers everywhere in this amazing collection of music.”  
Now in its fourth season, Swamp People follows the current generation of the Landry family and their contemporaries, who have been part of the region for generations and have made their living by carrying on their ancestors’ trades and traditions of hunting alligators and living off the swamp’s bountiful resources, while at the same time giving back to the swampland they call home.
Swamp People   Steel Bill
Amos Moses    Jerry Reed
Zydeco La Louisianne   Buckwheat Zydeco
Polk Salad Annie   Tony Joe White
French Jig    Amanda Shaw
Fire on the Bayou   The Neville Brothers
What’s in that Bayou  Charles Ardoin
Kolinda    BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
Jambalaya (On the Bayou)   Hank Williams
Cocodrie    Zachary Richard
Crawfish Walk    Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone
Cajun Saturday Night    D.L. Menard
See You Later, Alligator   Bobby Charles