(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )
Zydeco: The Essential Collection
(Rounder Heritage Series)
In case you don’t know, the loose talk among Louisiana-music fans with their ears to the ground is that Creole accordion music as we’ve always known it is in a bad way. No good new albums of that stripe since the deaths of Boozoo and Beau Jocque, they say. Not even many bad ones of that stripe since the deaths of Boozoo and Beau Jocque, I’ll add. And the recording dates on the material enshrined on this typically non-essential essential compilation (thirteen out of seventeen pre-’99) confirm the diagnosis. Still, if indeed the end is near, the herein anthologized music of Nathan, Geno, Buckwheat, Chris Ardoin, Boozoo, and Beau Jocque, all previously released though it is, will make for some pretty joyful dancing on the grave. Rating: Three-and-a-half ragings against the dying of the light out of five.