“The Things I Did for You”

chenier
Clifton Chenier
Bayou Blues, 1955/1970

“Standing in the shadow of Clifton Chenier, dancin’ the night away…” For about two decades, this lyric from Paul Simon’s Graceland was my only exposure to Chenier, “the King of the Bayou” and one of the most prominent Zydeco musicians of all time. Shifting through a stack of used records last year, I took a chance on “Bayou Blues” and fell instantly in love. This take of “The Things I Did For You” was recorded in 1955, early in Chenier’s career, and serves as a perfect introduction to his sound. There’s the traditional blues structure; the soulful, Creole-inflected, top-of-lungs vocal; the confident ride/snare shuffle. The lyrics may be mournful, but taken on its own the music tells a different story. We should all be so lucky when we get the blues.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/02%20The%20Things%20I%20Did%20for%20You%20(Take%201).m4a]

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