Creole Soul: Zydeco Lives is an exquisitely photographed volume of interviews with contemporary zydeco musicians by Burt Feintuch, edited by Jeannie Banks Thomas, with photographs by Gary Samson, from The University Press of Mississippi. The book is available for pre-order, and expected to ship in November 2022.
Featuring the voices of zydeco’s venerable senior generation and its current agents of change, this book celebrates a musical world full of passion, energy, cowboy hats and boots, banging bass, horse trailers, joy, and dazzling dance moves. Author Burt Feintuch captures an important American music in the process of significant—and sometimes controversial—change.
Creole Soul draws us into conversations with zydeco musicians from Texas and Louisiana, most of them bandleaders, including Ed Poullard, Lawrence “Black” Ardoin, Step Rideau, Brian Jack, Jerome Batiste, Ruben Moreno, Nathan Williams Jr., Leroy Thomas, Corey Ledet, Sean Ardoin, and Dwayne Dopsie. Some of the interviewees represent the contemporary scene and are among today’s most popular performers along the Creole Corridor. Others are rooted in older French music forms and are especially well qualified to talk about zydeco’s origins.
The musicians speak freely, whether discussing the death of a famed musician or describing a memorable performance, such as when Boozoo Chavis played the accordion while dripping blood on stage shortly after a freak barbeque-building accident that sliced off parts of two of his fingers. They address the influence of rap on today’s zydeco music and discuss how to pass music along to a younger generation—and how not to. They weigh the merits of the old-time zydeco clubs versus today’s casinos and African American trailrides, which come complete with horses and the loudest zydeco bands you can imagine. In Creole Soul, zydeco musicians give an unprecedented look into their lives, their music, and their culture.
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