The son of Creole accordion legend Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, Lawrence "Black" Ardoin not only carried on the family's musical traditions, but he later passed on the torch to his own son Chris, one of the most acclaimed proponents of the nouvelle zydeco sound. Born in Duralde, Louisiana in 1946, Ardoin was the second of Bois Sec's sons, joining his father and siblings Morris and Gustave in the Ardoin Brothers Band; originally a drummer, he took over accordion duties when Gustave was killed in a 1974 auto accident, and upon his father's mid-1970s retirement assumed full leadership of the group. However, over time the confines of traditional Creole music stifled Ardoin, and in the early 1980s he formed a new combo, the French Zydeco Band, which also allowed him to pursue his interests in Cajun and swamp-pop sounds. In 1984, the group debuted with the LP Lawrence "Black" Ardoin and His French Zydeco Band; a long recording hiatus preceded the release of 1992's follow-up, Hot and Spicy Zydeco. Following its release, Ardoin formed a new group, Lagniappe, which included his son Chris on accordion; as the youngster continued his creative evolution, he began leading his own unit, Double Clutchin', which Lawrence also managed.