It was a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, hip-shaking good time at Landmark on Main Street on Saturday, Feb. 5, when Buckwheat Zydeco brought Creole music and spirit to the stage of the Jeanne Rimsky Theater. The sold-out show attracted a diverse audience who wasn’t the least bit dissuaded by the foggy, rainy winter night.
Buckwheat Zydeco is fronted by Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. – a talented accordionist, organist, and vocalist, and the heart and soul of the Buckwheat Zydeco band. Other musicians included a trumpet player, two guitarists, one of whom is the extremely talented Paul “Lil’ Buck” Sinegal who played a guitar solo with his teeth, as well as bass player Lee Allen Zeno, drummer Kevin Menard, and Dural’s son, Sir Reginald Master Dural, on washboard and organ.
After an introduction by WFUV’s John Platt, the band, minus “Buckwheat,” took the stage and launched into some toe-tapping, upbeat Zydeco music. After about two songs, and with much fanfare, Buckwheat came out dapperly dressed in a gold shirt, three-piece white suit, and alligator boots. The next two hours were a whirl of dancing, audience sing-along participation, hand clapping, and general exuberance. The band’s clear joy of performing was infectious – you could not help but dance, even if you only did so in your seat. Many people, however, were moved to spring out of their seats and rush down to the open space in front of the stage, or the aisles, where dancing was encouraged. In fact, the house lights were turned on several times during the performance to facilitate the dancing.
Buckwheat enthusiastically played the accordion and Hammond organ, spoke to the audience both in English and in French, and sang joyfully. While some of the songs sounded similar (a hazard with many types of music), there were several standouts, including “Walking Through New Orleans,” and the closing number, a reggae-themed song inspired by Bob Marley – “Why Can’t We Live Together.”
By the end of the evening, the theater was about 20 degrees hotter than at the start. It wasn’t just the temperature that was raised either – it was the spirits of the whole audience. As the band shouted out “We love you!” to the crowd, there wasn’t a face that wasn’t smiling. Buckwheat, too, seemed to be reluctant to stop playing, telling the audience “it’s so hard to stop what you’re doing, when you’re doing what you love.”
All in all, it was a wonderful, upbeat, joyful performance, and an excellent way to spend an evening in Port Washington.
Buckheat Zydeco performed Winter 2011 at Landmark on Main Street in Long Island NY.
Image credit: HorsePunchKid via Wikipedia (2006)