A Zydeco Fan.
On a recent trip trip to New Orleans it took me several days walking around the French Quarter to figure out what was missing.
On my last tour of the city in 1999 there was a sound in the air that carried you down the street with toes tapping. It was infectious and blaring out of multiple stores on every block! That Cajun beat possessed your soul and caused anyone who heard it to dance down the street. It made the NoLa’s atmosphere as unique as the cuisine.
On my third day I realized that the toe tappin’, movin’ and groovin’ atmosphere has slipped away. Don’t get me wrong, jazz is still there and in the air, but that unmistakable sound of zydeco is just a whisper. I heard that whisper coming from The Krazy Korner on Bourbon Street. Drawn in by the sound of a washboard being slayed; I heard The Daywalkers. This band was closest thing to zydeco I had heard the whole trip. I could have stayed and listened to them for hours, but I had to leave to position myself for the Mardi Gras parade that was winding itself through The Big Easy. On my way out of the bar I did purchase one of their newly released CD’s.
Curious about the lack of zydeco in the city I asked the bellman at my hotel. When I questioned him where it went he got a very pensive look on his face. He slowly looked up at me and said that it had been years since he had heard it abundantly in city. There was sadness when he realized it was round about the time Hurricane Katrina rolled through and darn near destroyed the city. New Orleans suffered a great deal, I just hope that wonderful Cajun beat finds itself a home again in The Big Easy… I sure did miss it!