Wayne Toups & Zydecajun / Wayne Toups

Blast from the Bayou

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Wayne Toups aspires to a sound that combines the two traditions of Louisiana French music, as is indicated by the name of his band. And indeed, it is a fusion of the more tradional Cajun style and the more African-American, rhythm & blues-oriented zydeco sound. The band uses a Hammond B3 organ in addition to the accordion (like Buckwheat Zydeco and the Ils Sont Partis band.) The songs are mostly sung in English, with a smattering of French to keep the disc authentic. But Wayne Toups is definitely reaching out to a broader audience than most zydeco or Cajun artists. Toups attempts a couple of covers--a version of "Tell It Like It Is," and Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey." He gives these a new spin, and they are quite successful versions. A fun "Johnny Ne Peut Pas Danser"--or, more familiarly, "Johnny Can't Dance," written by Wayne Toups and Michael Doucet, gives an example of this band's unique sound.

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