Grammy Nominated Zydeco Innovator Corey Ledet Lets It Hang Out On ‘Corey Ledet Zydeco’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

The Grammy-nominated artist Corey Ledet is back with his fourteenth release simply titled Corey Ledet Zydeco on Nouveau Electric Records. While rooted in the Southwest Louisiana style of zydeco, Ledet also embraces blues, gospel and rock and roll as warm original tunes and covers bubble and bounce with energy. 

Singing, playing accordion and at times drums and washboard, Ledet leads a top-notch group of musicians with Cecil Green on Hammond B3 Organ, Lee Allen Zeno on Bass Guitar, Grant Dermody on Harmonica, Julian Primeaux on Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Background Vocals and Gerard Delafose Drums, Washboard. 

The players kick off the album with the gospel groove of “This Is All I Want” which gets a zydeco injection and pairs nicely with “It’s Gonna Be Alright” a tune that delivers the best vocal performance from Ledet on the record as he puts his faith in the Lord. “On A Roll” is a romp that seems custom-made for the sunshine and jamming live during Jazzfest while a cover of Big Joe Turner’s “Flip Flop and Fly” is less exciting as just a straight-ahead version of the song. 

 Ledet adds a new dimension by mixing up his vocals and singing songs in Kouri-Vini, a regional dialect of creole French turning a classic like “Mo Marché (I’m Walking)” from Fats Domino into a delightful new listen. Ledet does the same with “Pel Mo (Call Me)” as a distorted harmonica solo from Dermody scorches and smokes; an album highlight. 

Ledet has the music of southwest Louisiana flowing through his veins literally as his great-grandfather, Gabriel Ledet, played professionally with Jazz legend Bunk Johnson as an upright bassist. Grandfather Buchanan played drums with Clifton Chenier and Rockin’ Dopsie, as Zydeco’s first drummer, inventing the twice-pumped bass drumming pattern called “double clutching”. The artist pays tribute to his grandfather on “Buchanan Ledet Special” with its stuttering percussion and scooting rhythms.  

The album ends with Ledet acting as a one-man band on a trio of tunes because the pandemic had shut down recording in 2020. “Nina’s Hot Step” is a dexterous accordion instrumental that shows off Ledet’s prowess on the instrument while the waltzing “Mo Manqué (I Miss)” finds Ledet hitting the drums and washboard. Album closer “Arret Ton Train (Stop Your Noise)” is the complete package of zydeco spicy goodness and sums up the album as awhole with Ledet displaying his mastery of the genre while delivering a classic.

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