Cedric Watson & Corey Ledet
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Cedric Watson & Corey Ledet


Band Folk Blues


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The best kept secret in music



By Megan Romer

Ever wonder what it would sound like if Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot had sat in with King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier? Well, it's never gonna get much closer than this. Even casual zydeco and Cajun music fans will find this CD addictively listenable, with its heavy bluesy melodies and smoothly loping rhythms.

* Warm, blues-laden Creole fiddling from Watson provides both rhythm and melody for the whole album.
* Ledet's rockin' early zydeco-style piano accordion is near flawless.
* CD includes tunes from legends Clifton Chenier, Canray Fontenot, Bebe Carriere and John Delafose.

Traditional Creole music had been dying out (literally) in Louisiana for over a decade when, out of nowhere, Cedric Watson and Corey Ledet, a fiddler and accordion player, respectively, showed up on the scene from, of all places, Texas. Both were from Louisiana Creole families who had left Louisiana just a generation ago and held onto their roots fervently.

It's scary to draw comparisons to legends as great as Canray Fontenot and Clifton Chenier, but it's fitting in this case. On tunes such as "Ma Negresse", a solo fiddle-and-vocal number and "Canray's One-Step", it's impossible not to notice the similarities between Watson and Fontenot. On the bluesy zydeco numbers, such as "Black Snake", "Let The Good Times Roll" and the original "Goin' Down To Louisiana", Ledet sounds to be all but channeling Chenier.

This CD is the first release from the new record label Valcour Records (where the album can also be purchased), and if it's any indication of the quality of music that will come out of that label in the future, we're in for some phenomenal things. - WORLDMUSIC.ABOUT.COM

"Cedric Watson and Corey Ledet"

By Christopher Courville

Of all of the musicians to have crossed the Sabine from Texas into our great state in recent times, possibly the strongest impact on fans and musicians alike has come from accordion player Corey “Lil Pop” Ledet and fiddler Cedric Watson. Although each has made an impression touring on their own — Watson with the Pine Leaf Boys and Corey as “Lil Pop” Ledet — they bring their talents together on this unique album with a mixture of full band tracks, classic duets and stripped-down solo numbers that pay homage to Creole idols like Clifton Chenier, Canray Fontenot and John Delafose while showing off the skills that have taken them around the U.S. and subsequently all over the world.

The title and leading track, penned by producer/engineer Joel Savoy, is a full-band hopping zydeco number featuring Watson and Ledet working seamlessly together, trading leads between fast but smooth accordion runs and flailing fiddle lines. As a duet, they lay into a rendition of John Delafose’s “Broken Hearted”highlighting Ledet’s strong rhythm and Watson’s wailing second fiddle which together groove more heavily than most full band versions of this tune. Later, Ledet steps out on a rendition of “Black Snake” with simply a drummer and scrubboard similar to Clifton Chenier’s original version. Watson takes his own turn on a Chenier classic with his solo version of “Ma Negresse” and the dirty blues that comes out of his moaning vocals and fiery fiddle cut harder than most accordions or guitars ever could.

While this album takes a lot from classic Creole legends, it captures the skills and character of these two young men as accomplished musicians in their own right.

- Offbeat Magazine


"Goin' Down To Louisiana" (2006) Cedric Watson & Corey Ledet on Valcour Records

Cedric Watson:
"La Musique" (2006) Pine Leaf Boys on Arhoolie Records

Corey Ledet:
"3 Years 2 Late" (2003) Corey 'Lil Pop' Ledet & His Zydeco Band


Feeling a bit camera shy


Not long ago, the future of Creole music looked bleak. Calvin Carriere, who had carried on the La-La music played by his father and uncle in the Lawtell Playboys, passed away. Danny Poulard, too, was gone. The African American French musical traditions of Southwest Louisiana, which underpin so much of what we now like to call "Cajun" and "Zydeco" music, seemed to be rapidly disappearing, lost in the din of the dancehall and the relentless boom of the electric bass. Salvation, though, often comes from strange places. In this case, it came from perhaps the strangest place of all: Texas.

Now residing in Parks, Corey "Lil Pop" Ledet originally hails from Houston, where the old music still runs strong in the families who left rural Louisiana for better work decades ago. Cedric Watson, who now lives in Lafayette, grew up in the rustic environs of Sealy, Texas. The sudden appearance of these two dynamic musicians has been a near religious experience for lovers of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music. In Lil Pop's virtuoso piano key accordion playing, they hear echoes of Clifton Chenier's genius. When Cedric Watson breaks into a broad grin as he channels the old songs, the recall Canray Fontenot.

But this music is about more than individual people, and Cedric and Corey are not ghosts of a dead culture. Cedric and Corey look to the past, true, but they do so as a means of creating a meaningful musical present. When you listen to them, it will be easy to draw comparisons to the musical heroes of the past. Don't forget, though, to think about these young men captured here in there first strong flowering of their talent, changing and renewing the music every time they pick up and instrument.

Think of all that's yet to come.

-Joshua Clegg Caffery