FRESH was the defining feeling at Zydeco Trouble’s dance party at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. Lead by Curley Taylor, the five-piece band consistently delivered a straight up zydeco beat that kept the dance floor packed all night. Songs included “Ur Hot Body,” “A New Day,” and “Zydeco Line” from Zydeco Confessions, their new CD, and “I Can’t Stop,” “Country Boy,” and “Stop and Think” from Country Boy.
Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble played crisp, strong, balanced, melodic zydeco —stripped of reliance on standard set fillers. The band is not a one-note wonder. Each piece stood alone and neither set sounded like a mashed-up repetition of generic zydeco tracks. Even the waltzes had a special shine. Taylor’s mixture of playful, bluesy and soulful vocals kept things interesting, as did the driving beat created by rub-board master Matthew Roberts. Robert’s voice, personality, and ability to get funky also spiced things up.
A major support of the balanced sound was the plexiglass shield used by the drummer, Oreun Godert. The shield kept his sound in check so that the rest of the band didn’t have to play at ear-splitting decibels just to be heard. No earplugs needed here. Godert’s contribution was not diminished: he and bass player Koray Broussard laid a solid foundation for all of the dancers to follow. Guitarist Steve Dimant contributed both instrumentally and vocally. His back-up and add-on vocals were sweet to hear.
The clean straight-up zydeco sound does not mean that the band hasn’t grown and changed over the last decade. After stints as a drummer with many of Louisiana’s musical legends, Taylor took the lead on accordion in 2003 with the formation of Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble. The title song on the first of their six albums, Country Boy, is firmly rooted in a very traditional zydeco sound. Their sixth and latest album, Zydeco Confessions, mixes in more than a handful of R&B and pop without loosing its driving beat.
Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble’s dance party was the first club-based performance of a zydeco band in Bethesda since the Twist and Shout closed in September, 1998. May there be many more!
Running Time: Two hours fifteen minutes, with one 20-minute intermission.
Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble played on August 1, 2014 at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club – 7719 Wisconsin Avenue, in Bethesda MD. Upcoming events at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz and Supper Club can be found on their website.
Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble’s website.