By Robert HornHighway 99 is a blues club in Seattle that always gets nominated for, and often has won, the Washington Blues Society's Best of Blues Award for Best Blues Club. Recently there have been some great Zydeco bands playing there. Zydeco sometimes gets talked about as a sub-division of blues. While other times, people talk about it as a genre that is separate from blues but with some common cultural roots in New Orleans. The word Zydeco comes from the French phrase: "Les haricots ne sont pas salés", meaning "the snap beans aren't salty". This phrase is a colloquial expression that means 'times are hard.' It's therefore no wonder it found the blues.
The early Zydeco bands and the current ones knew each other. Many had some of the same relatives. Many Zydeco bands, like Dicki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, have a lead singer who will introduce the band as “Little brother… Uncle…Cousin,…” and they are literally telling the truth about how they started the band. Oh, Dicki’s real name is Troy Carrier. Those who know a little about Zydeco may be familiar with that last name (the name Carrier is royalty in Zydeco). Troy Carrier played with his father's band and his father had played with Clifton Chenier. The Chenier name is another famous name in Zydeco.
Jockomo performed at Hwy 99. They are a local Zydeco band that is a lot of fun. Songs like “Iko Iko”, and “Roberta” got people on the dance floor and they are good musicians. They do an occasional blues standard as well. They can be found on the web and Facebook so go check out their music. Currently they are playing a couple times a month in the Seattle area.
When they sang about crawfish, shrimp, jumbalaya, and gumbo we ordered some. NW seafood along with red beans, rice and Louisiana hot sauce seemed perfect for dinner. I hope Louisiana keeps producing great cultural gifts to the world, and glad some of it comes to this region.