Sean Ardion / ZydeKool

Home Brew

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Sean Ardoin is definitely committed to expanding the bounds of zydeco music. His last album introduced hip-hop into the mix, but this time he's gone for a more rooted approach that also brings in more than a small dose of soul. He's lucky to have a great and flexible pair of musicians behind him, but he remains a more-than-talented accordion player and a singer of real quality, who can handle the chugging two-step of "Down in Louisiana" and the quiet storm stylings of "Love, All for You." Given that he's responsible for virtually all the songs here, there's also a formidable writer still developing here. If you want to hear what he can do with the basics of his music, listen to "Back Porch," as storming a piece of zydeco accordion work as you're likely to find since Clifton Chenier. And then go to the other extreme with "I'm Still Here," which seems to be influenced by '70s Steve Miller hits, reworked in a zydeco vein. And closing out with the joyous "Kemo Sabe" is a masterstroke that leaves the album in the memory -- an excellent mix of zydeco and soul, with great backing vocals too. On the basis of this and his last disc, it's certainly not too early to announce Sean Ardoin as a major talent.

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