Al Rapone

Live at Dingwall's Dancehall

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Even more so than his more famous sister, Queen Ida, Al Rapone keeps the faith of traditional zydeco music. Although he plays with a largely electric band, the Zydeco Express, Rapone's vocals and accordion are strictly out front, and he doesn't try any misguided "fusion" or pop crossover moves. (Zydeco doesn't need to water itself down in order to be appreciated: Its combination of jazz, country, blues, and Acadian fiddle, set to a galloping, irresistible rhythm, is pretty intoxicating all by itself.) Recorded at London's legendary roots venue Dingwall's in front of a vocally appreciative crowd, Live at Dingwall's Dancehall is a loose, rowdy, and impossibly danceable good time. The hour-plus set glides effortlessly from song to song, with Rapone and his band cooking steadily throughout, from the ultra-funky "Tit Fille" to the laid-back "Negress." If any complaint can be made, it's perhaps that the set is too consistent, with little distinction between individual songs, but that's picking nits. Live at Dingwall's Dancehall is immensely enjoyable.

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