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Alligator Records is proud to announce the signing of musical legend Buckwheat Zydeco. The Louisiana accordion master and vocalist will begin recording his debut for the label on January 10 at the famed Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana with Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) producing. The multi-Grammy nominee will celebrate his 30th anniversary as a solo artist with the new CD and a lengthy tour.

Over the course of his celebrated career, Buckwheat Zydeco has played for President Clinton, performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics (to a worldwide audience of 3 billion people), and gigged with everyone from Eric Clapton (with whom he also recorded) and U2 to The Boston Pops. He has appeared in a number of theatrical films and on too many television programs to mention, including The Late Show With David Letterman, The Today Show, MTV, NBC News and many others.

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO According to Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer, the addition of Buckwheat ! Zydeco t o the label is huge. “Buckwheat Zydeco is the iconic figure of Louisiana zydeco music worldwide. It’s a thrill to bring an artist of this stature to Alligator. More important, he still tears it up at every show. His energy level and accordion chops are just amazing, and he’s a terrific, soulful singer. And he’s no slouch on Hammond organ, either. I’m also excited to reunite Buckwheat with Steve Berlin of Los Lobos as producer. Berlin produced Five Card Stud, one of Buckwheat’s finest albums, so we’re expecting Buckwheat’s Alligator debut to be just as good, if not better. Also, Buckwheat has been booked for years by Concerted Efforts, a great agency for American roots music.”

Stanley Dural was born in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1947. He acquired his nickname because, with his braided hair, he looked like Buckwheat from The Little Rascals. His father was an accomplished, non-professional traditional Creole accordion player, but growing up Buckwheat preferred listening to and playing R&B. He became proficient at the keyboard, and by the late-1950s was backing Joe Tex and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. By 1971 he formed a 16-piece funk band, Buckwheat And The Hitchhikers. Never a traditional zydeco fan growing up, Buckwheat reluctantly accepted an invitation in 1976 to join Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band as organist. He quickly discovered the joy and power of zydeco music, and marveled at the effect the music had on the audience.

Buckwheat’s relationship with the legendary Chenier led him to take up the accordion in 1978. After woodshedding for a year, he felt ready to start his own band under the name Buckwheat Zydeco and began his recording career with the small Blues Unlimited label. By the mid-1980s there were more offers to perform than he could possibly accept. Recordings for Black Top and Rounder followed before Buckwheat hooke! d up wit h New York-based journalist Ted Fox (who would later become his manager). Fox championed Buckwheat to Chris Blackwell at Island Records, and Buckwheat soon received a five-record deal.
As more doors opened, Buckwheat found himself sharing stages and/or recording with Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, David Hidalgo, Dwight Yoakam, Paul Simon, and many others, including indie music darlings Yo La Tengo on the soundtrack to the Bob Dylan bio-pic, I’m Not There.

During the 1990s Buckwheat continued recording for his own Tomorrow Records label and never slowed down his touring schedule. With his new relationship with Alligator, an upcoming CD, his massive instrumental and vocal talents and boundless energy, Buckwheat Zydeco remains and will continue to be the most popular zydeco artist in the world for a long time to come.

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