Buckwheat Zydeco: The Wrong Side


The Wrong Side


Buckwheat Zydeco


Lay Your Burden Down (Alligator)

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Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. (accordion, vocals, keyboards), Sonny Landreth (guitar),

Lee Allen Zeno (bass, background vocals), Sir Reginald Master Dural (rubboard, background vocals), Kevin Menard (drums), Olivier Scoazec (guitar), Michael Melchione (guitar), Curtis Watson (trumpet), Troy Andrew (trombone), J.J. Grey (Wurlitzer piano, background vocals)


Composed by J.J. Grey


Recorded: Maurice, Louisiana, no date given (CD released in 2009)


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

When I was in fourth grade, my school music teacher asked whether any students played musical instruments. My friend John, sitting in front of me in class, raised his hand and announced that he played the accordion.

Our music teacher stared him down for a moment of silence. Then made a brief pronouncement before moving on: "The accordion," he announced, "is a dead instrument."

Teacher must not have heard much zydeco music. Fortunately for us, Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. has spent the better part of four decades keeping this tradition alive and vibrant. And though his record label has changed many times, and his music often incorporates many ingredients grown outside the great state of Louisiana, he remains one of the squeezebox masters, and a reminder of how much the accordion has to say to us now. On "The Wrong Side" he brings on board another journeyman musician of note, guitarist Sonny Landreth, and the results are rootsy and real, a strutting danceable groove that belies the can't-let-go-of-the-dirty-past lyrics. Yes, the reports of the death of the accordion are exaggerated. And watch out Maytag . . . the washboard might be making a comeback too.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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