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Buckwheat Zydeco

Ever since the passing of Clifton Chenier, Zydeco has looked to Stanley Dural Jr. to carry the torch. This has been a heavy burden for Dural and his group, Buckwheat Zydeco. The accordionist and singer has attempted with varying degrees of success to broaden the form's palette, incorporating elements of soul, rock and pop, but never really finding the right niche. Trouble is a prime example of a musician flailing about for an identity. The title track finds the Louisianan dallying with a kind of bayou blues. As a singer, Dural is nothing special, and his accordion squeezing is competent but not exactly earthshaking. What makes the album worth listening to is the cast of fine musicians the session leader has collected for this date. Lee Allen Zeno is a solid bassist, while Stanley's brother, Gerald Dural, adds spice on the keys. But it is the horn section that really rescues Trouble from mediocrity. (Nicky Baxter)

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Toilet Trees

Resident nutcase and bald head Mike Mattingly has been pushing the limits of sound and patience with audiences and bandmembers alike. The second Neo album, Toilet Trees, backs up Mattingly's reputation as a quirky guy with the attention span of a hungry bumblebee. His band of merrymakers blows through ska, swing, disco, funk and noise, sometimes all at once, as in "Somersault Swami" and "Slip and Slide." Carl Stalling's influence figures prominently in the traditional Neo set closer, "Smoke Drink and Fuck," during which one can imagine Mattingly illustrating a most bizarre Bugs Bunny cartoon. Neosoreskin is intent on moving butts instead of alienating them, as evidenced by friendly songs such as "I Know You Know" and "Can't Sleep." (Todd S. Inoue)

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From the Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 1997 issue of Metro.

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