Zydeco Music: Background information when reading Red Now and Laters

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Red Now and Laters

by Marcus J. Guillory

Red Now and Laters by Marcus J. Guillory X
Red Now and Laters by Marcus J. Guillory
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2014, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2015, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Morgan Macgregor

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Zydeco Music

Print Review

In Red Now and Laters, there are several references to zydeco, a type of music descended from Louisiana Creoles.

Clifton Chenier The commonly accepted explanation for the word "zydeco" is that it comes from the old Creole adage, "Les haricots ne sont pas sales," meaning literally "the beans aren't salty," a lamentation that times are hard when you can't even have salt for your beans. The saying can be found in many Creole songs, and when pronounced in Louisiana Creole sounds like,"leh-zy-deco nuh sonh par salay" It officially began to be called zydeco when Creole musician Clifton Chenier defined his own music as such.

Chenier (pronounced shen-eer to rhyme with veneer) identified with the blues over traditional French music, adopting the keyboard accordion instead of the commonly used Cajun accordion (aka squeezebox) that uses buttons in place of keys. Widely referred to as the "King of Zydeco," Chenier is credited as being the progenitor of the genre, and with inventing the musical instrument, the vest frottoir (a redesign of the traditional corrugated tin washboard so that is could be worn hanging from the shoulders). The vest frottoir is considered a staple in zydeco music.

The Vest Frottoir Zydeco markedly differs from Cajun music (with which it is often conflated or confused) in that Cajun utilizes the fiddle heavily, while zydeco's distinctive sound comes from the accordion, accompanied by the frottoir. Many contemporary zydeco bands do incorporate the fiddle, but the accordion remains the star. Zydeco is intended to be dance music; the songs are upbeat and lively. Lyrics are sung in both French and English, though the latter is the predominant language in most contemporary zydeco.

Zydeco is popular in the south, most notably in the urban centers of Lafayette, Louisiana and Houston; Opelousas, Louisiana (the birthplace of Clifton Chenier) holds the unofficial title of "Zydeco Capital of the World."

To enjoy a lively performance of zydeco by Clifton Chenier, please see video below. You can also see the vest frottoir in action (fast-foward to 1:00) performed by a musician on the right.



Picture of Clifton Chenier from Musicbloodline
Picture of vest frottoir from pearltrees.com

Article by Morgan Macgregor

This article was originally published in May 2014, and has been updated for the March 2015 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Story of Arthur Truluv
    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg
    Elizabeth Berg's heartwarming novel scored an an impressive 4.4 average rating from the 48 members ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

If there is anything more dangerous to the life of the mind than having no independent commitment to ideas...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.