Dwayne Dopsie gets right to it with his accordion pumpin’ on his original, “Andree Jones,” the opener of Bon Ton. The tune has all the zydeco essentials, including hilarious lyrics delivered with a sense of fun by the powerful leader of the Zydeco Hellraisers.
The son of the late, great Alton “Rockin’ Dopsie” Rubin, Dwayne keeps tradition close to his heart and in the music. He sings “Hey La Ba” in Creole French, while his solo accordion blasts demonstrate his hip take on the tradition. The instrumental number, “Louisiana Morning,” reflects back on a time when an accordionist and a rubboard player would often play an entire tune as a duo—think Clifton Chenier and his brother Cleveland, or Rockin’ Dopsie and his longtime rubboard man Chester Zeno. Here, Dwayne and his rubboard player, Paul Lafleur, give it their all, and that’s a lot.
Dwayne loves the blues—another influence he absorbed from his father. He performs a beautiful blues on his self-penned song, “Such a Good Man.” The song sways with sadness and sentiment, all made complete with a soulful saxophone solo. The accordionist really squeezes the teardrops out of the instrument. He later takes the album out with a similar bluesy texture on “Was My Girl,” bringing a raspy edginess to his voice that’s gives it a down home feel. He makes the painful past real.
Bon Ton lives up to its title, which promises a good time. The always-energetic Dwayne Dopsie delivers the goods with his stunning, one-of-a-kind, modernly intricate accordion workouts, while also remembering zydeco’s blues roots, and the genre’s downhome, party attitude.