The next time you are loading up your iPod or similarly technological gadget, think about looking up some truly different musical experiences for your evening run or road trip. So, if Cajun, Zydeco or Swamp Pop are not an everyday affair for your listening pleasure, you might be surprised to know that there are many bands out there who are carrying on traditions passed down from generation to generation, with Zydeco and Swamp Pop stemming from blues and country influences on Cajun French music. In fact, there is a new Zydeco & Cajun Music category at the Grammys!
Check Out Grammy Winners:
Buckwheat Zydeco, 2010 Winner
Michael Doucet avec BeauSoleil, 2009 Winner
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, 2008 Winner
What is Zydeco?
Usually fast tempo and dominated by the button or piano accordion and a form of a washboard known as a "rub-board," "scrub-board," "wash-board," or frottoir, zydeco music was originally created at house dances, where families and friends gathered for socializing. As a result, the music integrated waltz, shuffles, two-steps, blues, rock and roll, and other dance music forms of the era. Today, zydeco integrates genres such as R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, hip hop, ska, rock, Afro-Caribbean and other styles, in addition to the traditional forms.
What is Cajun Music?
Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin. These French Louisiana sounds have influenced American popular music for many decades, especially country music, and have influenced pop culture through mass media, such as television commercials.
What is Swamp Pop?
Swamp pop is a musical genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenaged Cajuns and black Creoles, it combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences. Although a fairly obscure genre, swamp pop maintains a large audience in its south Louisiana and southeast Texas homeland, and it has acquired a small but passionate cult following in the United Kingdom, northern Europe, and Japan.