Sean Ardoin labels his band Zydekool “Alternative Creole” to head off anyone who might try to box up his music.
“Whenever people encounter zydeco for the first time, that becomes their idea of what zydeco is,” Ardoin explains via phone from Lake Charles, where he lives. “People who came at zydeco in the ’80s, they’ll be ‘John Delafose, that’s real zydeco.’ People who came in the ’90s think it’s Boozoo and Beau Jocque. Problem with that is, whenever you leave town, Terrance Simien, Sunpie Barnes, Rockin Dopsie Jr., C.J. Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, they’ve come what zydeco is.”
Ardoin admits: “What we’re doing here in Louisana currently is not what the world thinks zydeco is.”
With Zydekool’s Alternative Creole, he aims to keep it Creole – meaning keep it mixed. “It’s a really fun blend of zydeco, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, pop, R&B and reggae. And hip-hop, yeah,” Adroin says. “When we say we play Alternative Creole, it gives us the opportunity to retake ownership of the music – because then we get to explain what that is and how it’s different.”
Specifically, he says, “Creole music sounds to the untrained ear exactly like Cajun music. The differences are very subtle; the songs are the same, and they’re saying the same thing, but back then it was filtered through more country and folk and Celtic and feel, while Creole music was filtered through R&B and blues. Then you have our line – my grandfather and my dad and them – we have the little accordion, and we sung mostly in French but more traditional. But after Boozoo and Beau Jocque, every music that had a black man and an accordion became zydeco.” CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE PIECE AT Acadiana Living…
Or just watch Zydekool rock: