The band Buckwheat Zydeco, led by Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., offers an experience of both living history and one of the most danceable, energetic music genres ever. Get to Buffalo Iron Works for a show at 9 p.m. Saturday to see for yourself.
Dural was exposed to rustic forms of zydeco at an early age, and through multiple generations. He rejected it, and started playing rhythm and blues on the organ. He’s now come to see zydeco in a different light.
“Throughout 1977-’78, I performed with Clifton Chenier, whose band featured guitar, bass, drum and horns,” Dural said in a telephone interview. “I decided then maybe my dad was right: I should play the accordion!”
After those years with Chenier (the acknowledged zydeco king), Dural indeed picked up an accordion and set out on his own. “That,” he said, “is how it all started.”
Buckwheat has since performed on national TV, PBS radio, at the White House, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, and with musicians including the Boston Pops, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson and U2.
The most impressive of all is the actual music. Zydeco – rising up from the Creole culture of Southwest Louisiana (not New Orleans) – gives the accordion a chance to rock.
If you’ve only heard polkas or mazurkas on a squeezebox so far, open your mind and your ears to this magnificent music. As Dural said, “It’s party music, family music, roots music; it’s good music.”
While Mardi Gras season is a great time to get your groove on, zydeco is always the right thing.
Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door.