Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Dancing… at the Hall?
No. No way. That can’t happen. This is the Troy Savings Bank MUSIC Hall, not the Troy Savings Bank DANCE Hall! This is a SERIOUS PLACE, with acoustics that are famed the world over! YO-YO MA played here, for goodness sake! There’s pictures and everything out in the lobby! And yet, just a few hundred feet from those photos of Yehudi Menuhin and Serge “One Shed” Koussevitsky, we were being told – nay, encouraged – that, if the mood took us, we should “feel free” to dance to the music of Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole. That the mood would take us all (even if only some of us acted on the urge) was pretty much a given.
I mean, come on! This may have been “the Hall,” but we’re talking ZYDECO, baby, and you’d have to have a heart of stone and a soul of custard to not want to get up and get down! And we were faced with one of the best purveyors of zydeco, Cajun and Creole music on the market today. Watson – a cousin of the late NOLA legend Johnny “Guitar” Watson – was a 21-year old Texas wunderkind when he moved to south Louisiana so he could soak the music he loved directly into his pores. He’s 28 now; he’s been nominated for a Grammy four times; he plays fiddle and accordion with equal levels of style and accomplishment; and he’s got a razor-sharp singing voice that slices right through the smothering fog of real life so it can grab you by the mojo and say, “Okay, cheri, you’re coming with me!”