Buckwheat, you’ve been gone too long! The zydeco accordionist and singer Buckwheat Zydeco released his last studio album eight years ago. Jackpot! (Tomorrow Records), his new album, explodes with nearly a decade of bottled up energy. The album captures the potent mixture of zydeco, R&B and blues that makes every Buckwheat performance electrifying. If Prince were born on the bayou, if James Brown were a Cajun, they might sound like Buckwheat Zydeco. There is no heartbreak and sadness in Buckwheat’s world. In the song “Jackpot!” he declares, “You know I’ve always been luck / But I really hit the jackpot with you.” Even when his luck turns sour and he loses his lover on “Come Back Home Baby,” Buckwheat’s high spirits never falter. In the revved up tune, he seems to be enticing his wandering lover home with the sounds of good times. Buckwheat began his career playing organ with the legendary zydeco musician Clifton Chenier. Jackpot! ends with the “Organic Buckwheat,” a three song encore with Buckwheat on Hammond B-3. These tracks are more soulful and jazzy than Buckwheat’s regular playing. It’s like hearing a musician stretch-out in the backroom of a club after a show. Let’s hope Buckwheat doesn’t wait another eight years to record his next album.
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