"Honey, down here everyone knows how to cook," says Louisiana native Mary-Alice Culhane (Mary McDonnell) to visiting Chicagoan Chantelle (Alfre Woodard) in the 1988 film Passion Fish. Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr. is one Bayou State resident who can cook in both the literal and figurative senses. In regard to the former, the Dural Jr. family recipe for crawfish étouffée appears in the companion book to the PBS series "Pierre Franey's Cooking in America," the Emeril Lagasse cookbook, and the Tabasco Sauce Co. cookbook. As for the latter, Dural and his accordion fronts Buckwheat Zydeco, the band most responsible for bringing zydeco to world attention and the unchallenged successor to aggregations once led by the King of Zydeco (and friend of Stanley Dural Sr.), Clifton Chenier.
Buckwheat Zydeco is celebrating its 25th year as a band. The occasion was marked by the release of Down Home Live, recorded at Buck's favorite hangout, El Sid O's, in his hometown of Lafayette. How down-home this CD is -- with its horn section, keyboards, and three guitars -- can be argued. What's never in question in BZ's ability to get people off their derrières and onto the dance floor. Buckwheat and his accompanists, who include his son Sir Reginald Master Dural on rub board, have been doing it through 15 albums and touring that has included opening for such admirers as Eric Clapton, U2, Robert Cray, and Al Gore (at the Democratic National Committee's 150th birthday party).