Saw Dwayne Dopsie and the (aptly named) Zydeco Hellraisers along with the Lost Bayou Ramblers at BB King’s Blues Club yesterday — it was the “Only in Cajun and Creole Country Celebration” thrown by the tourism folks of the Lafayette region, in southern Louisiana, west of New Orleans.
“What’s this? Cajun? Creole?” my friend asked while dancing to the Ramblers. She had tears in her eyes (I was still sweeping sweat out of my own eyes from the hellraising zydeco that had preceded it.)
Cajun, Creole, zydeco — whatever. New Orleans and environs are what they are because of the patois, the gumbo — the mashup, you might say — of influences. They don’t call New Orleans the Big Easy for nothing. Don’t worry about categories.
Shut up and dance.
Yesterday was the first time I’d seen both of these bands. And I was blown away, in different ways, by both. It reminded me that there are so many ways to be amazing.
Both bands’ albums are up for Grammys tonight (glad to see both bands also highlighted in the NY Times piece today, “Grammy Gems in the Shadows.”
My fingers are crossed while I’m typing this. But really, it isn’t about luck (er, gris-gris). All you have to do is listen, cher.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
— Cajun: French Acadians who settled here after immigrating from Canada.
— Creole: Descendents of French, Spanish, and Caribbean slaves and natives; it’s also come to mean any person whose ancestry derives from the Caribbean.
— Zydeco: Blues-influenced Cajun music, usually including accordion, guitar, and violin (and don’t forget the washboard!).