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Buckwheat Zydeco

Buckwheat Zydeco - accordion, Hammond organ

Stanley Dural was born in 1947 in Lafayette, La., a close-knit community where many black people express their Creole heritage by speaking French, and by playing and dancing to zydeco. This hybrid genre blends Afro-Caribbean rhythms with blues, soul, rock, country and the French-rooted Cajun music of the Creoles' white neighbors. As the son of a zydeco accordionist, Buckwheat grew up steeped in this culture, and also absorbed Lafayette's prodigious output of blues and Gulf Coast "swamp pop." He began his professional career as an R&B sideman, playing keyboards for the likes of Joe Tex, Barbara Lynn and Gatemouth Brown. In 1971, Dural began leading his own R&B band, Buckwheat and the Hitch-hikers, playing the contemporary sounds of such popular bands as Parliament Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire. The group scored a regional hit with "It's Hard to Get."

By the mid-'70s, South Louisiana began to experience a grassroots cultural renaissance as zydeco and Cajun music gained appreciation as treasured cultural resources. As the demand for zydeco grew, Dural was offered a gig playing organ and piano with the King of Zydeco, the late, great Clifton Chenier. Buck (as he is also known) worked hard and learned all he could. After three years of touring, recording and accordion apprenticeship, he left in 1979 to lead his own group, Buckwheat Zydeco and the Ils Sont Partis Band. Like Chenier, Buckwheat has continued to blend traditional Creole zydeco with the latest black-contemporary styles, drawing on all of his rich and varied musical experience.

Recording prolifically for various independent labels, Dural attracted the attention of music journalist Ted Fox, who became his manager and co-producer. In 1987, Fox arranged Buckwheat's signing with Island Records. During the years of critical acclaim that have ensued, Buckwheat Zydeco has toured constantly, headlining major venues as well as sharing stages with the likes of U2 and appearing as a featured guest with The Boston Pops " which performed its own orchestrated versions of several Buckwheat Zydeco numbers.

The band performed at both of President Clinton's inaugurals, and Buck was featured on the Closing Ceremonies of the Atlanta Summer Olympics before a worldwide television audience of three billion, sharing the bill with Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Little Richard and Gloria Estefan. Buckwheat Zydeco has also made numerous appearances on national television shows such as Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show and the CBS Morning News. Dural was also named a Louisiana Music Commissioner by the governor.

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Lay Your Burden Down

Alligator Records
2009

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Down Home Live

Tomorrow Recordings
2001

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The Buckwheat Zydeco...

Tomorrow Recordings
1999

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