ALBUM PREMIERE: Zydeco Artist Corey Ledet Pays Tribute to His Musical Heritage with Self-Titled LP

The self-titled album Corey Ledet Zydeco is this Zydeco star’s 14th album since releasing his full-length debut in 2004, 3 Years 2 Late. His 2012 release Nothin’ But The Best was nominated for a Grammy in 2013. Corey Ledet Zydeco is being released by Arnaudville, Louisiana’s Nouveau Electric Records January 15th on CD, digital download and via streaming platforms (PRE-ORDER).

Corey Ledet Zydeco was produced by Ledet and Louis Michot, recorded at Dockside Studios, Maurice, Louisiana, June 2019 with Justin Tocket engineering and mixing. It was mastered by Mark Bingham at Nina Hwy Studio, nearby in Henderson. Corey is featured on lead, harmony and background vocals, accordion, drums and washboard. He was joined in the studio by Cecil Green on Hammond B3 organ, bassist Lee Allen Zeno, harmonica player Grant Dermody, Julian Primeaux on rhythm and lead guitar and backing vocals, and Gerard Delafose on drums and washboard.

Corey Ledet Zydeco pays homage to Ledet’s family and musical heritage which are inextricably combined. His great-grandfather, Gabriel Ledet, played professionally with the colorful early Jazz legend Bunk Johnson as an upright bassist. Grandfather, Buchanan played drums with Clifton Chenier and Rockin’ Dopsie, as Zydeco’s first drummer and invented the twice-pumped bass drumming pattern called “double clutching” that’s been an integral part of the genre ever since. Numerous members of this extended French speaking Creole family followed in their footsteps, playing professionally and non-professionally in the decades that followed. Corey’s rise to Zydeco royalty in the 21st century was a fait accompli.

Working towards promoting the cultural heritage of his family’s hometown of Parks, Louisiana, he studied and incorporated Kouri-Vini, a regional dialect spoken by family members into songs on this album.  

Ledet always studied a broad range of different musical genres owing to the love for all music deep in his soul. When he started to research his family’s genealogical roots, he found out that their musical roots dated back to late 1800s. They performed in a variety of the outfits that played Ragtime, early Jazz, Be-Bop, Zydeco, Creole and Blues. Learning this brought Corey a deep connection with his ancestors; and he realized that his interest in such a wide variety of music had hallowed precedent.  

Corey Ledet was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and spent his Summers with relatives in small-town Parks, where he was exposed to their Kouri-Veni language and Creole traditions. This molded and shaped Corey’s world in a profound way. This culture has its roots in Louisiana, but eventually spread across the country, including into neighboring Texas. When he returned home after summer, Corey was able to remain immersed in the Creole culture he learned to love. 

He learned everything he could about Creole culture – the traditions, the food, and most importantly, the music – so that he could incorporate it into all aspects of his life.

His love for Creole/Zydeco music was instant and hard to ignore. Ledet studied the originators of the music like Clifton Chenier, John Delafose, and Boozoo Chavis. His studies branched out to include any (and all) Zydeco artists. At the age of 10, Corey started picking up shows as drummer for Houston’s Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals and slowly learned his way around the main instrument of the style – accordion. He came to truly love every type of accordion: the single-note, triple-note and piano key…as well as still more exotic species! He worked at building his skills and coming to know each one intimately.

By the time he graduated from high school, Ledet was certain that music would be the focus of his future. Eventually, he moved to Louisiana to be fully immersed in his beloved Creole culture. 

To this day, Corey Ledet remains true to his family and cultural roots and looks for ways to incorporate them in his musical work and style of living. He’s created his own unique style out of the diverse influences of the many musicians he’s studied, blending old and new styles of Zydeco, and more!

Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of Ledet’s new self-titled album. With one foot in the past and one in the present, Ledet unloads the first feel-good album of 2021 with a collection of rambunctious zydeco goodness that is sure to get you smiling and dancing. Ledet proves to be a master at stirring up some real energy as he switches between singing in English and French and his band lays down steady, funky grooves. Musically, the album veers from more traditional zydeco to swamp-pop sounds, boogie woogie, and laid back rock and roll. There are also spoken word introductions that grab your interest, especially when Ledet steps in on track eight (“Nina’s Hot Step”) to announce that, due to the COVID-19 that struck during his recording, the tracks will consist of only him playing accordion. That ends up being a standout track for its intimate and humble approach to traditional Cajun zydeco playing. Zydeco is some of the very best music to see live because it always leads to a celebratory party atmosphere, and Ledet manages to bottle up that same feeling in an album that reminds us that the world needs more zydeco. 

Ledet describes the inspiration behind the album:

“This album is dedicated to my family’s musical royalty that dates all the way back to the late 1800s. I’m remaining true to these roots and earnestly searched for ways to include them in my music. I keep one foot firmly in the tradition while exploring surrounding influences in order to create the best of both worlds. I am infusing old and new styles of Zydeco into a unique sound from all of the people I’ve studied and am influenced by.”

LISTEN:

Photo credit: Kristie Cornell

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