Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers 

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BEAU JOCQUE & THE ZYDECO HI-ROLLERS

On the new Check It Out, Lock It In, Crank It Up! (Rounder), the world's best zydeco band adds "Tequila," Archie Bell & the Drells' "Tighten Up," and even some goofy hip-hop touches to a repertoire that already includes songs by Bob Dylan and War. Jocque and his band have been incorporating seemingly incompatible styles into zydeco's traditional French and Afro-Caribbean formula for more than a decade now, and no matter how audacious their borrowings, they still seem incapable of doing them anything but justice. In fact, when Jocque is yowling and pumping away at one of his many accordions, Russell "Sly" Dorion's fingers are licking the fretboard like flames, and the rhythm section is sending the beat through the floor like a jackhammer crew, you couldn't fault them for stealing from their own mothers. And whether they're rocking hard or grooving madly they never lose the essential lilt of masters like Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis. Vital as their recordings are, the Hi-Rollers are meant to be experienced live. Friday, 10 PM, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118. Saturday, 9:30 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 312-427-0333. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Philip Gould.

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