The undisputed "King of Zydeco," Clifton Chenier was the first Creole to be presented a Grammy award on national television. Blending the French and Cajun 2-steps and waltzes of southwest Louisiana with New Orleans R&B, Texas blues, and big-band jazz, Chenier created the modern, dance-inspiring, sounds of zydeco.
Lay Your Burden Down is a studio album by Buckwheat Zydeco, released in 2009 through Alligator Records. The album ranked number five on Billboards Top Blues Albums. In 2010, the album earned Buckwheat Zydeco the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.
Clifton Chenier was to zydeco what Elvis Presley was to rockabilly, only more so — the genre's founding father and tireless ambassador. Rhino has done an admirable job of collecting the accordionist's important work for this two-disc, 40-track set, harking back to a wonderfully chaotic "Louisiana Stomp" that he waxed in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1954 for J.R. Fullbright's tiny Elko label. Whether you're in the market for one zydeco collection to summarize the entire genre or ready to delve deeply into the legacy of the idiom's pioneer, this is precisely where to begin.
The follow-up to Sonny Sharrock's entirely solo comeback album, Guitar, Seize the Rainbow puts the guitarist at the helm of a rock-styled power trio featuring bassist Melvin Gibbs and Abe Speller and Pheeroan akLaff on drums (producer Bill Laswell also plays bass on one cut). The overall sound of the album is surprisingly straightforward, heavy metal-tinged jazz-rock, though the caliber and taste of the musicians makes it something far more than what rock guitar virtuosos of the period were recording. Still, there isn't too much way-out craziness, aside from some of Sharrock's trademark slide-guitar explorations on the spiritual title track and the riff-driven rockers "Dick Dogs" and "Sheraserhead's Hightop Sneakers."