Thursday, 14 March 2013

Clifton Chenier

King of the Bayou........

This Creole legend and blues accordionist was born in 1925 and grew up in Louisiana. In the 50's he had some mainstream success, the way paved by Prof Longhair and his popularisation of Louisiana's brand of R'n'B. Along with his band, the Zydeco Ramblers he toured for years, becoming beloved in his home state and critically acclaimed throughout the country. He found a new wave of mainstream popularity later on in life, winning a Grammy in the early 1980's and continuing touring until a Diabetes-related kidney disease ended his life in 1987. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame.

His energy was infectious, and his style of playing is hailed as revolutionary. He sang both in French and English, and his repertoire included various aspects of cajun and zydeco music, like blues, country, r'n'b, and boogie-woogie. Clifton's son CJ continues his legacy, performing his own energetic brand of Zydeco around the world.

'Tighten Up Zydeco'.... hear that spark

'Sont Pas Sales' Zydeco classic recorded live. Check out that washboard

'When You Going To Sing For Me' ...serious blues accordian

'I'm a Hog for You' footage of a bluesy number in both English and French

QI: Chenier (pronounced SHENeer) has been widely referenced by other artists, for example as the subject of the Rory Gallagher song 'The King of Zydeco', and in the Paul Simon song 'That Was Your Mother' from the massively popular 'Graceland'.