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World Music CD Reviews North American

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas
Published March 16, 2007

Hang it High, Hang it Low
Rounder 2164

A fairly high percentage of today’s zydeco bands don’t come across especially well on their studio albums. Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas, one of Louisiana’s better-known zydeco bands, is an exception. Hang It High, Hang it Low is his seventh album for the Rounder label, but his first since 2000. Such a long interval between albums tends to create high expectations, and unfortunately, Hang It High, Hang It Low isn’t his most consistent release. Some zydeco artists could benefit by adding strong non-originals to their repertoire and the only two covers here, Otis Redding’s “Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa” and Clifton Chenier’s “Zydeco Cha Cha,” the tune that gave Nathan Williams a name for his group, are among the most potent tracks. Even when Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas aren’t at their very best, the group remains one of the better bands on the zydeco scene.