Listen: Zydeco Feeling
This week’s Diggin’ introduces Major Handy’s track ”Zydeco Feeling.” The first time I saw Major play, I was about a foot away from him, wedged into a booth with my feet trying to avoid the mike cords in front of me and completely captivated by the performance. Major had the entire bar (it seemed) up and dancing, and somehow they all knew the right steps – I come from the generation where dancing really just involves barely moving your feet and bobbing the rest of your body in your own personal space, so all this coordination was particularly impressive.
It was a wonderful show – Major’s Zydeco music was new to my ears, and incredible. While I have experienced an incredible variety of Southern music while working here, I was totally unfamiliar with the tradition of Zydeco, but I love it now – and I found it fascinating when I read about it on (of course) Wikipedia. Just as Blues, Zydeco is a melting pot, blending the musical heritage of cultures that have intersected in the Bayous of Louisiana over the centuries. I was particularly amused to find out that one explanation for the term “Zydeco” comes from a French phrase that means “I’m so poor, I can’t afford any salt meat for the beans” but also could literally mean “the snap beans aren’t salty” or even also “I have no spicy news for you.” (I love translations!)
That night I saw Major play, unfortunately I had been up for almost 24 hours. As the show continued on, I struggled to keep my eyes open and fully appreciate what was going on around me. I finally gave up, sad to leave. But, I was happy that Major didn’t have to watch me fall asleep directly in front of him – I can imagine he might have found that insulting. When I got into the office later that week, I picked up his CD and listened to this tune. It brought me back to the energy of the show, and to my new found musical tradition that I am so pleased Music Maker has added to their roster. Listen, I think you’ll find it as great as I do. Enjoy!
Check out Major Handy’s page for more tracks!