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World Music CD Reviews North American

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO

By James Rodgers
Published February 2, 2006

100% Fortified Zydeco
Shout! Factory

A classic album captures the artist at a musical peak, the sum greater than its parts, that not only sounded incredible upon its original release, but still sounds good today.  Arguably one of the best of his three-decade career, 100% Fortified Zydeco found Buckwheat Zydeco swinging for the fences. Long out of print, this seminal recording on Black Top Records has been fortuitously re-released on Shout! Factory Records at a time when much of the country is focusing on the devastation and tragedy the 2005 hurricane season has had on New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast. Buckwheat effortlessly blends blues, R&B, funk and pop into his Zydeco, making music that is both three-dimensional and purely fun. Don’t let the cheesy cover fool you; 100% Fortified Zydeco finds Buckwheat and his Ils Sont Partis Band at the top of their game. From the first note to the last, this is a joyous party record that wants nothing more than to get you to smile and move your feet.  Buckwheat captures the spirit of Zydeco and of New Orleans, a city that can’t be kept down.