Lil’ Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers, Live at El Sid O’s


Hot on the heels of Lil’ Nathan’s late-2017 Unpaused release comes this CD/DVD recorded live at his uncle Sid Williams’ zydeco club. Comparatively speaking, these two releases are as different as night and day. Unpaused aimed at a national market while El Sid O’s is more modern zydeco–centric, paying homage to one of the last zydeco temples still standing. Knowing the backstory makes this especially meaningful. El Sid O’s was where a teenaged Lil’ Nate recorded his Zydeco Ballin’ debut. Decades prior, the venue also launched the career of his father Nathan, Sr. as Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas. While the DVD gives you a good sense of being there with dancing crowd shots and the band happily performing to a packed house, there are also insightful interviews with Sid and Nate talking about their career beginnings.

Musically, Nate’s songs range from autobiographical career reflections to themes dealing with every facet imaginable regarding relationships. Enveloped in a beautiful, sentimental ambience, “We Shouldn’t Be Doin’ It” expresses a protagonist’s guilt for continuing the sexual side of a relationship that’s otherwise defunct. “Just a Friend” pleads for the opportunity to go beyond just friendship. Though it’s a re-visitation of previously released material, the DVD provides a worthy snapshot of Nate uniting his hometown crowd while never forgetting where he came from.