C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

As Hank Williams Jr., Lisa Marie Presley, Jakob Dylan and Julian Lennon can attest, choosing the same career path as your musically famous father brings both rewards and dangers. Doors will open and opportunities arrive simply by virtue of a familiar last name -- but so does constant comparison and stringent fan expectation. C.J. Chenier -- son of the late, undisputed king of zydeco, Clifton Chenier -- took up his father's music, accordion, and even his band after Clifton's 1987 passing. But by smartly infusing more contemporary aspects of rock, funk and blues into the traditional zydeco, C.J. has forged his own path, which still celebrates his father's legacy (much of it made on stages and churches right here in Houston). His last record, 2001's Step It Up! (Alligator), blends tearjerkers and butt shakers, including the infectious (and wholly appropriate for this date) "Eat More Crawfish." He's also got one of the genre's most versatile, if not technically proficient, voices. And since one of the few bright spots to come out of Hurricane Katrina is renewed interest in the music of Louisiana, few are in a better position than C.J. Chenier to spread the sound of zydeco.


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