The Kingdom of Zydeco By Michael Tisserand

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    There’s a musical kingdom in the American South that’s not marked on any map. Stretching from the prairies of Louisiana to the oil towns of East Texas, it is ruled over by accordion-squeezing, washboard-wielding musicians such as Buckwheat Zydeco, Nathan Williams, Keith Frank, Terrance Simien, Rosie Ledet, and C. J. Chenier. Theirs is the kingdom of zydeco. With its African-Caribbean rhythms, Creole-French-English lyrics, and lively dance styles, zydeco has spread from its origins in Louisiana across the nation. Michael Tisserand reveals why zydeco’s identifiable and unforgettable blend of blues and Cajun influences has made the dance music of Louisiana black Creoles so popular and widespread. Zydeco’s appeal runs deeper than the feel-good, get-up-and-dance reaction it invariably elicits and is intertwined in the music’s roots and rhythms, handed down from generation to generation.

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