The formula has been updated and used by succeeding generations of zydeco bands, none of whom are more consistently crowd-pleasin' than the troupe headed by Clifton's son, C.J. Joining his pop's Red Hot Louisiana Band as a sax player in the '70s, the once jazz-bound C.J. took over on accordion after his father's death in 1987.
C.J.'s early recording career found him on an unlikely home for a zydeco artist, the L.A. new-wave and punk-skewing label Slash Records, which was receptive to his energy level. Since then, he's turned to Alligator Records to issue the bulk of his catalog -- though he hasn't dropped a new album since 2001's Step It Up! That disc bucks the funk-and-pop-crossover trend and reaches back into father Clifton's old-school zydeco. Thankfully, while Clevelanders wait for a long-overdue follow-up, we can catch C.J. live at Wilbert's this Friday.