Local Wire

Buckwheat Zydeco

It's no surprise that our most soulful president tapped Buckwheat Zydeco to play both of his inaugurations. Slick Willy knew no one other than the oft-labeled "world's greatest party band" could, well, you know, get the party started. Buck, born Stanley Dural Jr., refuses to follow a set list, opting instead to go where the mood takes him; that means his shows are the kind of organic improvisation that only a real bandleader can swing. While the greatest-party-band-in-the-land claim is debatable, Buck's place as the undisputed king of zydeco ain't -- a title his latest, Jackpot!, only reaffirms. Old-time zydeco was sung in Creole French with only an accordion, drums and a washboard. These days, the washboard is out and a Hammond organ is in, along with contemporary infusions of blues, soul, rock and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. It's a polygamous marriage that'll infect your ears and keep your head bobbing for days.