JJ's Zydeco Paydirt
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JJ's Zydeco Paydirt

Band Folk World


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"CD Review - John Deere Zydeco"

On their debut CD, John Deere Zydeco, JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt delivers an exciting mix of straight-ahead zydeco originals and covers. From the title cut, a tribute to JJ’s tractor & polka loving father, to zydeco standard Johnnie Billiegoat, to an original co-written by JJ and Preston Frank, these songs will make you dance! No doubt about it, this Minneapolis based band has created a sound which will bring the excitement of the dance floor to your own personal CD player.
- Pulse of the Twin Cities, Feb '03

"CD Review - JJ's Zydeco Paydirt"

from article “Beyond the Bayous – Reviews & News From Around the Cajun-Zydeco Planet” (note: article reviewed multiple CD's)

Attack it, smake it, crack it, if there’s one thing that Minneapolis cross-town rivals JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt has in common with the aforementioned Ramblers, it is that they both share the drummer Loughridge. He’s the engineer that propels the Paydirt into a payload, but that’s not all. Accordionist Joel Johnson keeps it zydeco-true with an airtight freshness that won’t have anyone scratching his head wondering what kind of music this is. As their dance-friendly “John Deere Zydeco” can attest, there are choice selections from Booxoo Chavis, John Delafose and Clifton Chenier that even they would be proud of. Additionally, the northern standard-bearer not only covers Preston Frank’s “Born in the Country”, but also contributes lyrids to Frank’s unfinished “Preston’s Two Step.” If Frank should ever record his now finished product, he’d do well to look at other Johnson originals, such as “Lucky Guy” and the insanely pushing “JJ’s Zydeco Breakdown”. The title song’s a hoot as well, with an intro sporting dialogue between Johnson and his pops discussin an old tractor. Despite needing a bearing on the pulley, the old beast starts up, which kicks into the only zydeco tractor song whose lyrics reference polka king Frankie Yankovic. And somehow it all fits.

- Dirty Linen, by Dan Willging


John Deere Zydeco - 2002

Two tracks on "Twin City Two Step" Vol 1
Cajun & Zyedco Music from Mpls/St.Paul - 2008



JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt plays nothing but zydeco, the dance music found in the roadhouses of southwest Louisiana. Featuring the two-steps and waltzes of favorites Boozoo Chavis and John and Geno Delafose, along with a mix of originals, this is music meant to make you get up and dance. And many people have been doing just that since the band first started playing at dances in the Twin Cities in 1999.

“Paydirt” was founded in 1998 by Joel Johnson, as a way to get the traditional zydeco of Boozoo Chavis and other Louisiana performers to the dancers of the Twin Cities. JJ had previously played with the neuvo zydeco band ZoloGo, which he helped found in 1995. Paydirt has recorded one CD – John Deere Zydeco, which was released in 2002.

The band is lead by JJ on accordion and vocals. Other members Kent Peterson on bass and Paul Loughridge on drums make up the rhythm section, and Jim Lupino on guitar and Mark Johnson on rubboard round out this danceable groove.

JJ's Zydeco Paydirt has performed at numerous venues and events in the upper Midwest since 1999. Venues include the Cedar Cultural Center, The Cabooze, The Half Time Rec, the Medina Ballroom, the University of Minnesota, and Dixies on Grand in Twin Cities, Café Montmarte in Madison, WI, and Fortune Bay Casino in Tower, MN. Events include the Minnesota State Fair, Oktoberfest in Chippewa Falls, WI, The Kickapoo Country Fair in La Farge, WI, Grand Old Days in St Paul, and wedding receptions, corporate events, and parties. Paydirt has opened for such famous bands as Beausoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco, NRBQ, CJ Cheneir and Chubby Carrier.