Jeffery Broussard may have once spearheaded the most influential band of modern zydeco with Zydeco Force, but these days he’s on a different mission: to present the Creole cultural music prior to its adulteration of floor-rattling, urbanized sounds. His second album makes that point well, showcasing selections (“Allons a Lafayette,” “Prier pour moi,” “Madeleine”) that hail from the canon of Cajun-Creole music, but more importantly are family versions played by his father Delton of the Lawtell Playboys. Four tracks are time-honored waltzes, which will likely appeal to the older set since waltzes are practically nonexistent in today’s zydeco.
Granted, Broussard operates within a traditional framework, but he does so with uncanny ingenuity. The cascading arpeggios on “Pinky’s Heavenly Waltz” have to be the prettiest passages heard in any genre (not just zydeco) in recent memory. The rollicking “Big Fat Women” was a spur-of-the- moment bandstand concoction inspired by certain patrons.
Then there are the moments when the masterful accordionist pulls out all stops to stage a jaw-dropping clinic. Buckwheat Zydeco’s “Hard to Stop” is the best example; despite whatever direction zydeco may be headed these days, Broussard shows that there’s still plenty of room left in this frame.