Buckwheat Zydeco Classics

Buckwheat Zydeco took his surname after serving an apprenticeship under then king of zydeco, Clifton Chenier. Buckwheat went on to give zydeco a more contemporary sound, fusing it with R&B and rock, and is also responsible for propagating love for the music in mainstream circles. Classics is a compilation drawing from the three albums Rounder released (Turning Point, Waitin’ For My Ya-Ya and Buckwheat's Zydeco Party) between 1983 and ’87 and as such give us the sound of Buckwheat before he became the first zydeco artists to be signed to a major label (he moved to Island in ’87). Buckwheat's past as a guitarist with funk and R&B bands always influenced his sound and on Classics we find swampy zydeco shuffles ("Zydeco La Louisianne") and Cajun ballads ("Mon Papa") sitting side by side, sometimes awkwardly, with urban crossovers ("Turning Point") that, with their Memphis horn section and nary an accordion in sight, are hardly premier examples of zydeco. What Buckwheat does best, however, is represented on tracks like Chenier's "Hot Tamale Baby" where spicy R&B pop smarts gives the speedy Cajon zydeco a new purpose in life. (Rounder)