Regatta Bar

Buckwheat Zydeco

July 9, 2013 at The Regattabar

Accordion player and American music legend Buckwheat Zydeco played an eclectic show at the Regattabar on Tuesday night, taking strong influences from the Blues, Be-bop, Motown and Rock in his interpretation of traditional Zydeco music. In a night filled with dancing, laughing and some Louisiana spunk, “Buck” – as Zydeco’s friends call him – brought some southern flavor to the often-polite Regattabar audience.

While often mislabeled as New Orleans or Cajun music, Zydeco music originates from west of New Orleans and is steeped in the roux of French Creole culture. In his stellar band, Buck added musicians who would complement his own rich cultural background. His trumpet player added a sense of Jazz phrasing while his guitarist saw Zydeco music through the lens of the Blues. Buck’s drummer and bassist were versatile as well, able to lay down a variety of different grooves. All members worked together to create a melting pot of engaging sounds.

In a soulful version of a tune called “Tee-Nah-Nah”, Buck showed off his charisma, building a call and response dialogue with his audience. Buck’s captivating versions of The Rolling Stone’s “Beast of Burden” and Jimi Hendrix’s  “Hey Joe” brought the audience to their feet. Buck’s gritty accordion and organ playing throughout the night reminded the audience why they came to see him. While the audience may have walked in on a quiet Tuesday night, they left Harvard square dancing like a Saturday night on Bourbon Street.

Buckwheat Zydeco’s Cover of The Rolling Stone’s “Beast of Burden”

— Nathan Basch (Jazz pianist, Economics student at The George Washington University)