Interview with Buckwheat Zydeco

Before his upcoming concert at Club Cafe, Buckwheat Zydeco called in to talk with Joey Spehar of The Morning Mix.  Joey and Buck discussed the sound of Zydeco music, why he started playing the accordion, and his some of his future projects.

Buckwheat Zydeco has been making music since the late 1950's.  Buck has played for ex-president Bill Clinton twice for both of his inaugurations and the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in the past.  Buck has also toured worldwide sharing the stage with the likes of Keith Richards, Mavis Staples, Willie Nelson, and many other music icons.

When asked by Joey to describe the sound of Zydeco music he explained, "It's a roots music from southwest Louisiana.  It's very energetic music for all generations.  Zydeco music has been there before the early fifties, that's from the greats."  

Buckwheat Zydeco is one of the rare accordion playing artists to achieve mainstream success.  Joey and Buckwheat Zydeco discussed how he got started playing the accordion.  In the mid 1970's Clifton Chenier asked Buckwheat Zydeco to join his band.  Buck explained how Chenier’s request snowballed into a musical career with the accordion, "That's the reason why I'm playing the accordion today, you know?  It's very inspirational. First of all, I didn't like Zydeco music.  I was pretty much stubborn.  My father played it 24-7 at home.  In the early seventies I had a big funk band with fifteen people. I took a break in 1975 and Clifton asked me to perform with his band as an organist.  The situation going on with me and my dad was he didn't like the music I was playing and I couldn't stand his. I decided to say, "I'm going to do this. I'm gonna take out my accordion, go on stage, play this one night, and take it off stage." I wound up playing with him for two years."

Buckwheat Zydeco has not released an album since 2009's Lay Your Burden Down.  However, Buck has been keeping busy and has a few songs and projects up his sleeve.  Joey and Buckwheat Zydeco discuss his future works, "We have some [tracks] in the bag.  I don't know when we are going to release [them], but hopefully soon.  I just did some things with Kenny Rogers.  I did some accordion with them in the studio."  When asked about how his collaboration with Kenny Rogers came about he replied, "It was the promoters, managers, and record companies and stuff [that made it happen].  That's my reward.  That lets me know that people are listening to Buckwheat Zydeco. When you get an invitation like that [to play with Kenny Rogers], that's a blessing."

Information about Buckwheat Zydeco's upcoming performance can be found on our concert calendar