Saturday Night: Accordion Kings & Queens At Miller Outdoor Theatre

Brave Combo june6.jpg
Photos courtesy of Miller Outdoor Theatre Advisory Board
Brave Combo
Accordion Kings & Queens Festival
Miller Outdoor Theatre
June 4, 2011

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.

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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.

Location Info


Miller Outdoor Theatre

6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Roger Wood
Roger Wood

Good article about a fine Accordion Kings concert last Saturday night, but the bass player and drummer are misidentified.

The bassist with Corey Ledet's band last Saturday night (as well as the following evening at the Big Easy gig) was the great Lee Allen Zeno, who normally works with Buckwheat Zydeco. The drummer was Cedryl Ballou (grandson of the swamp-blues guitarist Classie Ballou). Together they make one mighty tight rhythm section.

By the way Zeno is also a first-rate producer, he told me he is working currently on a new album with Corey and the rest of the guys.


Thanks Roger. Made the corrections.

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