Apr 5 - 8, 2020
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Though not a native to Louisiana, I am a student and big fan of Louisiana's roots music. As a piano player, the city of New Orleans captured my musical inspirations with artists like Professor Longhair, James Booker and Dr. John. In the mid-1980's I made my first pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and witnessed thousands dancing to Zydeco bands. As a result, I acquired an accordion and started playing Zydeco shows in Tallahassee. My love is ultra groovin' music that gives music lovers no chance but to dance.
What is your background and history in music?
My formal musical training was as a percussionist. I attended Florida State University's School of Music in 1973 but also used this time to teach myself piano. In 1980, I said goodbye to the real world and became a touring musician, playing with several bands across the US. In 1988, I hooked up with slide guitarist Bill Wharton and recorded five albums with him in the next 11 years. We recorded with Virgin Records, Ichibahn Records and Kingsnake Records. Tours led us across the US and Canada. We played many Zydeco festivals, even though we weren't a true Zydeco band, and shared the bill many times with Buckwheat Zydeco, Terrence Simien, C.J. Chenier, and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas. A number two hit in France found us making several tours to the continent and playing some of Europe's largest music festivals.
I was so busy with this project, I could not continue my Zydeco, even though I was playing and recording with my accordion. The whole time, people back home were always asking, "When are you going to do the Zydeco thing again?" After I left that project, I came home and saw that Zydeco was growing in popularity in my area and there was no band to fill this void. This, plus my love for the music, is my inspiration for the ZydecoZoo.
I have also run the biggest Blues/Zydeco/Americana website on the Internet for the past six years. http://blues.about.com
Who are the J.B.'s ZydecoZoo band members? And what is your repertoire?
With me in this groove are two of North Florida's most experienced and respected musicians. Missippy James on guitar and Jiggs Walker on bass. A recent Tallahassee transplant from Lafayette, Louisiana, Martin Guilbeau joins us on drums and Keith McCraw is our rubboard man. Our music is high energy, rockin’, rhythmic Zydeco in the vein of Beau Jocque, Clifton Chenier, C.J. Chenier, Rockin' Dopsie and Stanley Dural, Jr. (AKA Buckwheat Zydeco). Also, my debut CD release "J.B.'s ZydecoZoo", contains 10 smokin' original Zydeco tunes.
When did J.B.'s ZydecoZoo debut in Tallahassee?
December 6, 2002 at the American Legion Hall. Since then we have gone on to play festivals throughout the Southeast such as the prestigious Three Rivers Music Festival in Columbia, SC, the massive Deerfield Beach Crawfish Festival in Deerfield Beach, FL, Mudbug Maddness out in Shreveport, LA, the wild Mardi Gras Maddness in West Palm Beach, the historic Crawfishman's Crawfish Festival in Jacksonville, and the down-home Freedom Blues Festival in our hometown of Tallahassee.