Monday, September 7, 2009

Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural and his Band Set Fire to Dakota Jazz Club

September 2, 2009

Last night at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, legendary Louisiana musician Stanley "Buckwheat Zydeco" Dural and his incredible band featuring the nucleus of Paul "Lil Buck" Sinegal on lead guitar, the great Lee Zeno on Bass and the baddest drummer on the planet, Kevin Menard reduced the place to ashes in an act that can only be described as arson. Augmented by the talented trumpet player who played with Paul and Lee's band the Top Cats at this year's Ponderosa Stomp and a second guitarist, Mr. Dural and the pride of Lafayette Louisana, Mr. Sinegal and Mr. Lee, turned the vaunted, high class digs of the Dakota into a greasy, craw fish shack sans bibs and napkins.

Following an immensely enjoyable and moving opening set by the gifted Kansas City born but New Orleans influenced keyboardist, Josh Charles, Lil Buck Sinegal, who Eric Clapton calls the greatest living blues guitarist and a mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughn, took the stage and led the band through a blistering Booker T and the MGs instrumental, propelled by the combustible rhythm section of co-conspirators Zeno and Menard. By the time Mr. Dural took the stage the audience was ready for something special which is exactly what Buckwheat and company had in store for them. By the second song, the audience did something I have never seen before at a show at the Dakota, they all rose to their feet at the encouragement of the night's ringleader.

Over the course of the next hour and a half, those Minnesotans lucky enough to be on board took a river cruise down the Mississippi to the bayous of Louisiana ending with a lesson for the new age: Peace, Love and Happiness. One of the night's more memorable moments came when Mr. Dural switched from accordian to the B-3 and reminded the audience that he is a world class keyboard player. Also worth noting is how unique and valuable the addition of the trumpet is to their line-up, which greatly expanded and enriched the traditional zydeco sound and gave it an incredibly jazzy flavor. Simply scrumptous!

The trademark of the club may be "the Dakota Cooks" but Buckwheat and Band definitely Smoke!

Bon Ton Roulet!

*Photo taken by me at this year's Ponderosa Stomp No. 8 at the House of Blues in New Orleans showing Lil Buck and the Top Cats featuring Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural backing Robert Parker.