Buckwheat Zydeco – Lay Your Burden Down

January 01, 1970





Etoi! As hearty a music as Zydeco may be, its translation to
larger realms has usually been a dicey proposition. Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural has tried for
decades to highly mixed results, but on this sucker he nails it firm and deep.
With the able assistance of Steve Berlin as producer, the singer and
accordionist creates a potent brand of “Greater Gulf Music” that ranges from
the lower Caribbean to beyond the upper delta
with wondrous results.


The opener “When
The Levee Breaks,” the Memphis Minnie/Kansas Joe McCoy classic known to rock
fans from Led Zep’s version, signals that something magical is happening here
with its Louisiana-style Southern rock fury, whipped to nice froth by Sonny
Landreth’s slide guitar, which along with Buck’s mellifluous squeeze box
slathers the Tabasco atop J.J. Grey’s Chicago-style shuffle blues on “Can’t Let
Go” that follows. Jimmy Cliff’s “Let Your Yeah Be Yeah” hits the locus among
reggae, ska and New Orleans R&B with an infectious delight while Bruce
Springsteen’s “Back In Your Arms” shines in a similar one-drop lilt, iced by
Doral’s loamy B 3 pads and slides. In a veritable Whitman’s sampler of
stylistic treats, the disc gets mighty soulful (“Don’t Leave Me Here” and
Captain Beefheart’s “Too Much Time”), summons up some swampy voodoo to match
Dr. John on the title song that swirls hypnotically from the pas de deux between Buck’s Hammond organ
and writer Warren Haynes’ guitar, and travels to a Saturday night at Slim’s
Y-Ki-Ki in Opelousas on the snappy Zydeco of “Throw Me Something, Mister” and
“Ninth Place.”


By the time this
delicious disc cools down on the closing grace note instrumental waltz of
“Finding My Way Back Home,” you know you’re in the presence of the bayou music
greatness that Buckwheat Zydeco has long aspired to achieve.


Standout Tracks: “When The Levee Breaks,” “Let Your Yeah
Be Yeah,” “Back In Your Arms,” “Lay Your Burden Down” ROB PATTERSON



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