Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers Best Of Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers

When Beau Jocque died of a heart attack on September 8, 1999, at age 47, the world became a more sombre place. He built his music on the foundation laid by Boozoo Chavis and added blues and funk to the mix while never losing the propulsive rhythms of zydeco. His band had a rhythm section like no other, anchored by Steve Skeeter Charlot (on drums) and Chuck Bush (on bass). He was a bear of a man and his voice was a commanding growl, right up there with John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf when it came to authority. This Best Of... samples his studio LPs and includes originals like his trademark song "Give Him Cornbread" and the maximum party anthem "Gonna Take You Downtown." Covers from John Lee Hooker, Bob Dylan, War and Archie Bell & the Drells give more than a hint at the breadth of incorporated influences and, subsequently, his sound. A pair of previously unreleased live tracks, recorded at Wolftrap in 1997, brings the total to 13. This is a first-rate introduction to music that is pure gold and works directly on both the heart and hips. (Rounder)