Along with Clifton Chenier, the irascible Boozoo was zydeco's most influential accordionist. His 1954 "Paper in My Shoe" (remade here) reportedly sold 130,000 copies, making it zydeco's biggest hit until Rockin 'Sidney's "My Toot Toot" in 1985, which is about when Boozoo returned to action after a twenty-year layoff. He's sort of the John Lee Hooker of his genre — stone country, with a propulsive beat and endless vamping, casually dropping or adding bars, changing chords in all the "wrong" places, lacing his records with farm-animal cries, singing in a voice that itself had lots of barnyard gravel in it. He stripped zydeco down to its essentials, and the sound was mesmerizing.
By Richard Gehr on 01.01.05 in Spotlights
What's an accordion good for? Learning how to fold a map. Although Mark Twain famously termed it "the stomach Steinway," the accordion is a closer relative to the organ, or even the lowly harmonica, than the piano....
By Robert Ham on 02.25.15 in Features
From Shania Twain to Patrick Wolf, these musicians couldn't leave well enough alone and rerecorded their work.
By Jewly Hight on 02.23.15 in Features
"I take the country songs, because they're the only ones left now with any real meaning, and I redo them more R
By Mary Kinney on 02.06.15 in Features
For all of NYC's history of folk music, a giant metropolitan city with no recent rural history to speak of is an odd place for a comeback to take place.