Saturday Night: Accordion Kings & Queens At Miller Outdoor Theatre
Timing can be everything. And it only took about ten seconds standing in the wings 20 feet from Clifton Chenier's former guitarist Lil Buck Sinegal and the rest of Corey Ledet's zydeco band as they kicked off their portion of Saturday's Accordion Kings & Queens festival to realize that these guys had just opened a can of Deep South Louisiana badass, and that something very special was about to go down.
It was also immediately apparent that Clifton Chenier's Houston-born baby, zydeco, had met New Orleans' Congo Square head on in a massive groove collision somewhere near Breaux Bridge and that all was right with the world.
People always bring up guitar technical whiz Sonny Landreth when they talk about Chenier's classic zydeco band, but Sinegal (right) was the man behind the sound for many, many years, and Saturday night he was the coolest of the cool cats as he locked in with the backline of bassist Lee Allen Zeno and drummer Cedryl Ballou.
Sinegal was doubling Zeno's bass line note for note, cutting the groove deeper and deeper and turning the orchestra pit at Miller into a dancehall. There isn't much live music more joyous than listening to and watching a locked-in Louisiana rhythm section laying down the voodoo hoodoo.
While many of Houston's music lovers battled the heat and crowds of Saturday's opening day of Summer Fest, another 4,000 or so took advantage of an unusually breezy cool evening for early June on the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre to catch the finals of Texas Folklife Resourcess 22nd annual Big Squeeze contest, followed by the Accordion Kings & Queens extravaganza.