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.