A rural zydeco traditionalist squarely in the mold of Boozoo Chavis, singer and accordionist Willis Prudhomme emerged during the late 1980s; not a member of the nouveau zydeco generation by any stretch, he did not even begin a professional musical career until while in his late 40s. Born during the early 1930s in Kinder, Louisiana, Prudhomme spent much of his childhood working in the rice fields, and as an adult made rice farming his life's work; as a result, he did not pick up his first instrument, the harmonica, until the age of 45. He soon made the switch to accordion, and played in Leo Thomas' band for a number of years before going solo during the mid-1980s. Prudhomme first attracted wide notice with the release of 1988's Zydeco Live! Vol. 2, a split release with John Delafose and the Eunice Playboys; his proper solo debut, Willis Prudhomme and Zydeco Express, followed in 1990. After 1991's Crawfish Got Soul, he returned with Chicken Koop.
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