Bourbon Street fiddle player Waylon Thibodeaux hits what he aims at on Who’s Yo’ Cher Be Be, an album of crowd-pleasing, rockin’ zydeco. His New Orleans-based band effectively maintains enough of the feel of Acadiana zydeco for listeners to know what they’re getting, but the drive is closer to rock ‘n’ roll, and Thibodeaux works a similar trick. There’s some country in his singing, but it’s contemporary country, not the voice of rural Louisiana. As such, he’s likable and evokes Louisiana without sounding irrevocably Acadian.
His song choices walk a similar line. Those that celebrate South Louisiana border on cliché but don’t quite teeter over (except for “I Just Wanna Be Bayou, which runs headlong and bellyflops over the line); he’s on surer ground playing modern country, particularly “Riding on the Roses,” a story of love on the line sung to his florist. More often than not, though, the songs are just songs—words about love and your girl that sing well, rhyme and hook without really saying anything. The world is full of them.
Who’s Yo’ Cher Be Be doesn’t make a grand statement, but tourists who liked him in the Tropical Isle could take this home and their friends would understand why they had a good time.