Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Up in Flames (Sound of New Orleans Records)

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Up in Flames (Sound of New Orleans Records)
A churning dynamo, fully powered from start to finish, the latest release from Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers backs up the threat of its title. All 10 tracks burn and burn, all of them original songs designed to knock over a dancehall.

Songs like “Better Go Get It” demand more from the dancers, the lovers and from Dopsie himself, pushing them all with a gravelly voice and a cutting accordion. The band is no joke, either, with Shelton Sonnier’s guitar dueling with Carl Landry’s sax in a tight attack that keeps the sound urgent. Listen for the details in Alex MacDonald’s rubboard and the honest exuberance of each cut. “Got My Mind Gone” is unbelievably tight (you almost think the disc is skipping), followed by “Start All Over Again,” a midtempo proposition showing off the solid songwriting skills of Dopsie. Muscular, rhythm and blues-styled lyrics balanced with expert musicians swinging hard—this is Saturday night zydeco at its best.

Another notch in the zydeco family tree, the record reinforces the idea that if there’s a party and a Dopsie is involved, you ought to get yourself over there. If that’s not possible, the album is a worthy approximation of the joy, pop and fire that mark the family’s legacy.

  • Thestaxman

    Great Album, well deserves your perfectly worded review!