The Zydeco Brothers

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Formed in the early 80s, this band became well known in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. At the core of the band’s repertoire was zydeco dance music, with flourishes of soul and rock ‘n’ roll, allied…
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Formed in the early 80s, this band became well known in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. At the core of the band’s repertoire was zydeco dance music, with flourishes of soul and rock ‘n’ roll, allied to touches of the blues and gospel. Band members included Cornelius Guidry (guitar), Giles Sonnier (guitar), Dave Blant (keyboards), Ann Goodly (accordion), and Fred Hopwood (drums). In addition to hundreds of club dates, the band also appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival at Plaisance. Band members eventually went their separate ways, some as sidemen, others leading their own bands. Blant, who also plays accordion, and Hopwood worked extensively in Europe, playing clubs and festivals, often billed as the Zydeco Brothers. This duo became closely associated with a zydeco movement centred on Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England, and in 1997 were in at the start of the Vice-Bishops Of Uttoxeter, a group fronted by guitarists Pod Malkin and Dave Faulkner. Blant and Hopwood formed their own recording company, Smalltown Records, released The Vice-Bishops Of Uttoxeter, and played on many sessions and on radio and television.

Back in the USA, early in the 00s the Zydeco Brothers re-formed, although, strictly speaking, there were as many newcomers to its ranks as there were old-timers. The new group included Clinton Peake (guitar), Pete Oakley (guitar), Colin Latham (vocals), Ben Appleby (saxophone) and Mark Fontana (bass).