Zydeco veteran Warren
Ceaser came to this debut recording by way of high
recommendations from the crème de la crème of Zydeco royalty.
After touring in the 1970s with the likes of Isaac Hayes and
Luther Ingram, Ceaser returned home to southwest Louisiana and
began playing trumpet behind the great Clifton Chenier, a blues
influenced Zydeco pioneer and undisputed first King of Zydeco.
After Chenier’s death
in the late 1980s, the Zydeco crown passed to Alton Rubin, a/k/a
Rockin’ Dopsie (pronounced “doopsie”). And it was Rockin’ Dopsie
who told Sound of New Orleans owner and producer Gary Edwards –
searching for some overlooked Zydeco talent to record – to go
hear Warren Ceasar. Not long after, Edwards and Ceaser went into
the studio to produce this milestone Zydeco outing.
Warren Ceaser, like
Clifton Chenier and Rockin’ Dopsie before him, stays close to
the origins of Zydeco music – French Cajun music mixed with
R&B-influenced dance floor rhythms - but he brings his own fresh
ingredients as well, like sweet soul music, driving rhythms, and
even a loping reggae beat. He also tosses in a little soul jazz
and some old-fashioned R&B, making for quite a diverse
Check out, for
example, the closing “Cherry Pie,” which segues into versions of
both “Blue Moon” and “You Send Me.” Or the pair of Zydeco reggae
tracks, “Down by the Bayou” and “Teasin’ You,” the latter a ‘60s
national hit on Atlantic for New Orleans by soulman Willie Tee.
And don’t forget the stutter-step rhythm of “Zydeco Rap” or the
classic waltz-around-the-dance floor rendition of “Valse de
In every case, though,
this is Zydeco stripped to its bare musical essence: intense,
rollicking, and tons of fun!