Music » Livewire

Buckwheat Zydeco

Tuesday, February 6, at Peabody's.


Zydeco veteran and the most popular accordionist of all time (after Weird Al, of course), Buckwheat Zydeco may not sell the records he did back in the Big Easy days of the late '80s, but he and his hot-footed band continue to be a major-league live attraction.

Born Stanley Dural in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1947, Buckwheat -- nicknamed for his braided hair as a child -- cut his teeth as a backing keyboardist for Joe Tex and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown before forming a 16-piece funk band called Buckwheat & the Hitchhikers in the early '70s. In 1976, Dural began touring as an organist for Clifton Chenier. Dural picked up the accordion, and Chenier, the very king of zydeco, became his teacher. Not long after, Buckwheat Zydeco was born.

After splitting off from Chenier, Zydeco began adding elements of rock and R&B to his take on the folk form he's named after, quickly garnering Grammy nominations for the albums Waitin' for My Ya Ya and On a Night Like This. He continued to record after the zydeco/Tex-Mex/Cajun fad of the late '80s faded, but it's really never been about records for Zydeco. This is sweaty, vibrant music best experienced live, with spicy food in your stomach and rivers of cold beer swilling down your gullet.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.