Various Artists

Ultimate Zydeco

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This collection has a wide variety of songs from a far-ranging and eclectic group of artists. No collection can please everyone, and this one has some gaps in it because not all zydeco performers have recorded on the Mardi Gras label, however, there is something here for pretty much everyone. For the well-seasoned zydeco traveler there are some lesser-known cuts from artists who aren't frequently heard, and for the newcomer this is a rich treasure trove. It includes traditional artists such as Fernest Arceneaux and some of the modern artists who pushed the zydeco envelope, exposing it to more diverse influences -- artists such as Beau Jocques & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers. This is also a great introduction to Mardi Gras Records and their ever-expanding zydeco library. It contains more than an hour of music, distributed between 17 cuts and evenly interspersed between traditional and the more modern styles. The cuts are all well-produced and the sound quality is excellent. In addition there are two cuts by the Zydeco All-Stars, a non-touring entity who were put together in the studio from some of the most road-tested zydeco musicians still playing. They include legend-to-be Paul "Lil Buck" Sinegal, who has a habit of handing out one scorching guitar solo after another, and Alonzo Johnson, Jr. laying down a steady bass beat. This is one of the best zydeco collections to be had.

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