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Zydeco Dylan, Zydeco Reggae

With the songs above and below, Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience is a great reminder of how fluid music is.

First, a little bit about Zydeco, which is a great and fun genre. According to Wikipedia it is…

…a musical genre [that] evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers[1] which blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native people of Louisiana. a “genre southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers[1] which blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native people of Louisiana.

What is especially fun is seeing folks from one genre crossing over to another. It’s not uncommon, but sometimes — such as this — it stands out. Above, the group covers Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” — I had never really thought of a zydeco version of a Dylan song, to be honest. I am guessing that not many people have. Below is the great reggae song “Pressure Drop.” It is by The Maytals (later, Toots and The Maytals) and was featured in the 1972 movie “The Harder They Come.”

I wonder why somebody crosses genres to cover a song. Is it the lyrics? Something in the melody? Is it a bit mercenary: Did Simien think that he could make inroads with a new audience by covering something with which they were familiar?

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience won a Grammy for the album Live! Worldwide in 1997. Here is their website.

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The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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