Beau Bayou & The Sabine Connection, True to My Roots (Independent)

It’s not often that a zydeco band is fronted by a high school football coach, but such is the case with Beau Bayou, whose every-day Clark Kent name is Brandon Arabi. He’s a fourth-generation accordionist and a second-generation music professional that has opened for Keith Frank’s Creole Renaissance Festival in the past. His debut disc is mainly autobiographical with songs about meeting his wife “My Queen,” getting a helping hand in zydeco “Friends” and inheriting the musical mantle from his father in “Born to Do This.” His accordion playing is spot-on, and he’s backed by a tight rhythm section consisting of his wife Diane (bass) and Garrot Jack (drums). Though this all makes for engaging zydeco dance music, things really catch fire with the werewolf-ish “Rougarou” and “Salt and A Lime” where Bayou jokingly confesses he’s past his partying prime. Finally, he straps on the three-row to close out with the steamy “Beau Bayou on the Rise.” Since he’s a big man with a deep, bassy voice, his vocals might take a little getting used to. But the fact that he sings like the everyday working man makes him all the more appealing in his own right.