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The Kingdom of Zydeco by Michael Tisserand

The late zydeco king, accordionist Clifton Chenier, took to the road over 35 years ago as the first artist to introduce the rest of the world to the wonders of zydeco music and dancing. Since then people have been two-stepping to the likes of Buckwheat Zydeco and Boozoo Chavis and have been further exposed to the music in films and commercials. Yet most people have little knowledge of the culture and traditions of the music and its purveyors. Repeatedly it is asked, “What is the difference between Cajun and zydeco music? Michael Tisserand answers that question and many others in this, remarkably, the first book to fully document zydeco. Tisserand goes to the sources- the musicians, club owners, radio stations-in Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas, exploring the history of zydeco through both research and conversation. He moves from the early works of artists like Bois Sec Ardoin and Canray Fontenot, bringing it all up to date to include the hot new sounds from accordionists like Beau Jocque and Keith Frank. “The Kingdom of Zydeco” is more than a book about music, it is about the of a culture of the people, of the families and the importance of music in their lives.

Originally Published