Classic rock songs mixed with zydeco may seem like a strange idea to some, but Zydecosis, the five piece band hailing from Houma, Louisiana, makes it seem like the most natural thing in the world. A labor of love in the truest sense, it’s the sound of rock coming home to part of its roots, in a fun and thrilling new setting. Their debut CD, Zydeco All Night is a joyous collection of rock standards that ask the question, “What would bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who have sounded like if they had been using washboards and accordions?”
Zydecosis is the invention of Steve Junot, a Houma, Louisiana based guitarist and vocalist. An established veteran in the Louisiana music scene, his idea of mixing rock and zydeco came to him over a decade ago. As he recounts, “Years ago, I was touring with Chubby Carrier (the accordion player who plays in Zydecosis) and the drummer of our band was a big Kiss fan, and he wanted to do a Kiss song zydeco style. Then, years later, as I was watching Chubby play I thought ‘man, that is such a crazy idea, I have to do it.’”
Calling in a crew of friends he had played with over the years, Steve began to put the band together. “Corey (on bass) is one of the best zydeco bass players working today; Lupe, the drummer, is always ready to play on my crazy-ass projects. And Chubby is one of my favorite players in the world. I knew they’d be right for this project.” And for their part, the players knew that this would be something different. “Steve has a weird way of thinking,” Chubby says with a laugh. “With this project I often didn’t know what song I was playing, but Steve made sure that we always had a great time.” The band was augmented by guests Waylon Thibodaux, who lends his one of a kind cajun fiddlin' to “Baba O'Riley (Teenage Wasteland)”; and Tony Hall, a bassist who’s played with Harry Connick Jr., the Neville Brothers, Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris, played on “Paranoid.”
While having a great time has been Steve’s mission for the project, it’s often been challenging. When the first batch of recordings sounded, as Steve says, “like bad polka-rock instead of zydeco,” he junked the recordings and went back into the studio. As he recounts, “At first, the songs had too much of a rock vibe and not enough of a zydeco vibe. It took a while to find the right songs, because it can be hard to find material that works harmonically with zydeco, but once we did that, everything fell into place.”
With versions of The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction," Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love (“It works incredibly well for zydeco because it’s only one chord throughout the entire song,” notes Steve), the Who’s “Baba O’ Riley,” Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love,” Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” and more, Zydecosis is a reminder that rock n’ roll, in its original heyday, was party music, designed to be the release for people at the end of a hard week. With its swirling accordions, groove filled bass and syncopated rhythms all led by Steve’s muscular vocals, Zydeco All Night is an album that makes you want to dance, drink and revel in good times…or as they say in south Louisiana, laissez les bon temps rouler!