Tangled Up In A Twist Of Fate 92/ A to Z Challenge/ Zydeco, ZZ Top and Zymurgy
Posted on April 30, 2013
It’s finally the end. Congratulations to everyone who took the trip and strained their imaginations to come up with a new post every day. There were days like today when the idea came to me in the shower. It wasn’t ZZ Top or Zydeco it was zymurgy. When I was in school it was the last word in the dictionary in the school library. I wanted to see what was the last word. I turned to the last page and there it was, zymurgy. It’s the branch of chemistry dealing with fermentation as in making wine or brewing. So, when some nosy parker asks you what you’re doing sampling a good vintage or especially fine microbrew you can draw yourself up to full height and tell the asshat you’re studying zymurgy.
Zydeco might have come and gone on the fractious national music scene but it still exists in its home turf. It’s fun music to listen to. It’s the latest form of “world music”. It’s a fusion of La-La (shared music of Creoles and Cajuns) the blues and jure (syncopated a capella religious music) The singer is backed by an accordion, modified washboard, electric guitar, bass and drums. Sometimes fiddles, keyboards and horns can be added. With those instruments it might thought you’d be listening to pseudo polka music. No, it’s closer to the blues with music on top of the beat.
Zydeco shows its roots in one of its meanings: “Les haricots sant pas gales” or “the snap beans aren’t salty” or times suck. When it translated to local French it was pronounced “zy-de-co sohn”
Now for the Bill Monroe of zydeco, Clifton Chenier:
Now about “The little ol’ band from Texas”. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and frank Beard would be wonderment just for the fact the three members have been together for thirty years. They started with a bluesy guitar sound adapted synthesizers and drum machines but always came back to their roots. They’ve become a fixture on MTV and have had a following close to Deadheads. A prophetic story: “He’s our kind of guy” Frank Beard to Billy Gibbons after Beard introduced himself to Dusty Hill in a bar. Hill passed out drunk before returning Beard’s greeting.
The inducted Cream, on of their influences into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 2004 Keith Richards inducted them into the Hall
Two songs, one well known, the other not so much;
So long to A to Z. I hear my ride coming
See you tomorrow.