CD Review: Ernest James Zydeco “3 Steps From La La”

Ernest James Zydeco
3 Steps From La La
Jam Rat Records
11 tracks
Running Time 44 Minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ernest James Zydeco’s 3rd Album “3 Steps From La La” is a rhythm heavy upbeat album that hits on all tracks with its Big Easy Cajun roots music. Ernest James Zydeco is a Kansas City based band that features a true Zydeco accordionist and a skilled band at the top of their game. “3 Steps From La La” is a journey through the progression of early Creole music through time to today’s sound . Pre- Zydeco music was Creole music; this was referred to as La La. This was in the 1930s, 40’s and early 50’s. before people were plugging into amplifiers. It was acoustic only: usually just an accordion, a fiddle, drums and maybe a washboard, as you hear on “Perlie Pearl”. Than, with the addition of amplifiers and the electric guitar, the music took its first step. Some of the songs feature guitar influences born of reggae or funk like on “Lookin”, that is another step. A couple of tracks are just good Kansas City Blues with nothing fancy, just eyes closing, head bobbing blues. That would be the 3rd and farthest step from La La.

The overall feel of this album is just a smooth good time. A 3 track block a third of the way in slows it down just a bit and brings you back to earth. The tracks are “Supposed to Do”, “Zydeco Mother’s Day” and “Man Across the Street”. “Zydeco Mothers Day” is just soaked in Muddy Waters influence, while “Man Across the Street” is not like any other song on the album. That song more than the rest stuck with me after listening to this CD.

The remainder of the album is equally as satisfying, mixing in a few types of southern styles of music while heavily favoring Zydeco as a whole. Creole, Zydeco, R & B, and Electric Blues are tapped into, and “Red Cross People” is a blues shuffle that will get people movin’. That is exactly why this album is so good. It is a journey and when you listen to it you will have a hard time staying put.

Track Listing:
1. Shake It Sugaree
2. Lookin
3. Whoa Sally
4. Supposed to Do
5. Zydeco Mothers’ Day
6. Man Across the Street
7. Hey Mojo
8. Janitor
9. Pearlie Pearl
10. Red Cross People
11. Glory Glory

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