CD: Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers’ “Fine People Everywhere”

Fine People Everywhere(GSM Records, 2010):

It’s Mardi Gras weekend!

And if you want a bit of homegrown, Louisiana-flavored soundtrack to fuel your revelry, this – the fifth album in a dozen years from Nippertown’s premier zydeco combo, Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers – is a fine place to start.

The album starts out with “Aura du Bayou,” a brief, atmospheric bayou blues wail featuring Ryan Dunham’s howling harmonica and the slippery slide guitar of James Rissacher. But soon enough accordionist Greg “Captain Squeeze” Speck and his son Alex Speck on frottoir are whipping up their high-energy two-stepping Louisiana groove.

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They managed to squeeze 15 songs onto this hour-long disc, and there aren’t any clunkers here. The Captain’s voice is almost too pretty on some of the tracks – I wish he sounded a bit more ragged and soulful – but it works perfectly on the anniversary waltz, “Thirty Years From Now.” Instrumental tracks “I Need a New Suit” and “Ten Mile Creek” are stand-outs. Most are original tunes, but they also add some spice and hot sauce to the album with covers of Michael Doucet’s “Zydeco Gris Gris” and Beau Jacques’ “Give Him Cornbread.”

But this isn’t a strictly traditional blast of zydeco, not by any means. The rhythm section of drummer Brian Egan and bassist Bill Lawrence add plenty of muscle to the rocking “A Long Way From Home,” an in-the-pocket, straight-up blues groove to “Just Seventeen” and just the right touch of funk to “LA LA Zydeco.”

Let the good times roll!

Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers take their Mardi Gras party-time sound all over Nippertown this weekend. You’ll find ’em at 9:30pm tonight at New World Home Cooking in Saugerties; 8pm on Saturday at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall in Cairo; the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany at 12noon on Sunday; Steve Daub’s “Stormy Monday Blues” on WRPI-FM at 8pm on Monday; the Bayou Cafe in Albany at 7pm Tuesday (Mardi Gras Day!).

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