The beans are not salted!

Come on down to the bayou! Grab yourself a plate of gumbo and goad an aligator into biting your feet off! Today we plunge balls deep into the world of Zydeco music.

Zydeco is a kind of roots music native to soutwest Louisiana and southeast Texas and combines influences of blues, rock and roll, R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, hip hop and ska. That means absolutely nothing to me and you so let me describe it in my own terms: it’s like uptempo cajunny swampy dance music with all accordions and washboards and stuff. And they often sing in cajun French.

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, they say, so pack some of this in your ears:

If you were wonderign what the title was about, the first Zydeco song was called “Les haricots sont pas salés” meaning “The beans are not salted”. The name zydeco presumably came from a contraction of “les haricots”, which is pronounced “layz arico”.

If you care to watch the film The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid, this is set in New Orleans and features the band Buckwheat Zydeco at one point. The OST is also totally boss. My dad once forced me to watch The Big Easy, having gone on about it for weeks. As the end credits were rolling he said glumly: “that wasn’t the film I was thinking of”.

So I hope you enjoy! I rarely (so never) get to play this kind of stuff when I DJ. If you have the good fortune to live in the US there are lots of festivals for Zydeco but there is only one that I know of over here – The Bristol Cajun and Zydeco Festival in October.

Laissez les bon temps rouler.

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