Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Band- Play the Zydeco

Friday could not come fast enough this week.  And what a way to kick of the weekend with some zydeco.  Well, as the Stanley Cup Finals are winding down, so is crawfish season.  Did not eat a whole lot of it this year.  In fact, I ended up eating it once at Ragin’ Cajun this season.  It is hard to judge how well this season was.  I know last season was pretty massive.  Anyway, this was $3.00.

My first memory of Queen Ida is seeing her on Saturday Night Live in 1985(Pee Wee Herman was the host).  This was in the middle of SNL’s decline of sorts, the season that critics called awful but what I quite enjoyed. (For the record, the critics also hated the late 80’s/early 90’s which were probably SNL’s best years).  Anyway, during this time, top musical acts were avoiding the show somewhat in the 1980’s, forcing SNL to take chances on bands that were not necessarily mainstream. Not today.  SNL does not take chances anymore like they used to, music wise.  The music on the show today has become quite boring in comparison (although the fact that I am 40-something and these bands are for 20-somethings and teens may have something to do with it.) Anyway, I rambled enough with this subject.

I believe this is Queen Ida’s first album.  Released in 1976 on GNP Cresendo, this album features Queen Ida’s brother Al, on guitar and vocals as well as .her older brother Wilbert on rub board. Pretty good album as was the last one of hers I posted.  As for Ida, according to wikipedia, she retired in 2010 but still cooks for her family (see last post of hers for more detail about her cooking or Google it).

I had a bunch of choices for samples.  Favorite songs of mine included “Lucille Kanai”, “The Cherry Tree Song” and “Tayo Zydeco”.  I did decide to go with the opener”Rosa Majeur” or Rosa of Legal Age.  I also went with “Creole De Lake Charles” which was Ida and her family hailed from before moving out to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Band- Zydeco a la Mode

DSCN2355Here’s to a new month of Donkey Show.  This was one dollar.  I have not put a Zydeco record on yet.  I had a full weekend and unfortunately, am running behind on the site. Oh well.queen-ida-jazz-fest-photo-jef-jaisun

Ida Lewis Guillory, or Queen Ida was the first female accordion player to lead a zydeco group  Born in Lake Charles in 1929, Ida would move to Beaumont at age 10 and then to San Francisco at 18. She was born into a musical family.  Moreover, the band on this record is definitely a family affair with her brother, Al Lewis, on guitar and vocals and her son, Myrick Guillory on percussion. Queen Ida has played a good chunk of festivals as well as an 1985 appearance on Saturday Night Live. I seem to recall her playing outside at the Astrodome during the Biggest Party in Texas-Houston in 1989. Regardless, she released around 12 albums and won a Grammy in the process.  These days, Queen Ida is mostly retired.

The record, as Bart Simpson would put it, sounds pretty much like any other zydeco album to your average listener.  However, the album is a pretty good collection of tracks. Released in 1977, it was her second album.  Highlights include “Frisco Zydeco”, ‘Moi Mademoiselle”, Colinda”, and “Bayou Lover”.  A lot of the songs seem to have the first verse in French and the second in English.

DSCN2356For a sample, I went with “Cest La Vie” as it is one of the few zydeco songs in done in a minor key.

Queen Ida & Her Bon Ton Zydeco Band perform at the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007 during the 23rd Annual Twilight Dance Series.

Satisfactory record.  Hopefully, I can get caught up with the blog this week.