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Rockin’ Dopsie Jr.’s New Album of Red Hot Zydeco Out Aug 30th

From L to R Anthony Rubin, Lee Allen Zeno, Tiger Rubin, David Rubin, Dwayne Rubin. Image courtesy of Lily Keber.

NEW ORLEANS – Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters are celebrated as some of New Orleans’ greatest entertainers, and they have announced a soul-nourishing and body-moving new album of red hot zydeco: “More Fun With Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters” will be released Aug. 30 on ATO Records.

Fronted by explosive singer and rub-board player David “Rockin’ Dopsie Jr.” Rubin, the son of zydeco legend Alton “Rockin’ Dopsie” Rubin, More Fun With features 12 new recordings that share the joy of zydeco with the world.  The Dopsie’s, including David, are known for having performed with everyone from Beyonce to Paul Simon and Bob Dylan and are a perennial main stage favorite at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Listen To “Ooh Woo Woo (Please Don’t Leave Me)” Here:  Bursting with accordion, harmonica, horns – “Ooh Woo Woo” is a chugging blues that reimagines a true Louisiana classic that was originally recorded by Fats Domino in 1953.

More Fun With was co-produced by GRAMMY-winners Randall Poster and Stewart Lerman, and recorded at Esplanade Studios in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans.  Poster and Lerman’s resumés include extensive film and television credentials including Vinyl and Boardwalk Empire.  Poster – who has worked closely with directors including Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese – first encountered zydeco when producing a collaborative song by Buckwheat Zydeco and Yo La Tengo, for the 2007 film I’m Not There.  Last year Poster curated the music for the soundtrack of a remake of Roadhouse.  In the original movie from 1989, the late blues guitarist Jeff Healey provided all of the music.  This time around, director Doug Liman wanted a variety of musicians, with one common denominator being a distinctive look.  Poster’s research led him to Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., a live-wire performer whose dynamic stage moves, executed in seemingly perpetual motion, include agile splits in the best James Brown tradition.  Recording several songs with Dopsie and the band went so well that Poster and Lyman had them perform in the film — which, in turn, led to this album.  The experience has led Poster to proclaim: “I think everyone should listen to some zydeco every single day…and you will live a happier life!”

For seven decades, stage name Rockin’ Dopsie (pronounced Doopsie) has stood tall in the world of zydeco.  This exuberant alias was first used by accordionist Alton Rubin (1932-1993), a towering figure who passed both the torch and his moniker to his son, David.  David Rubin now fronts The Zydeco Twisters with a soulful voice that calls to mind Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding.  David also plays the rub-board, or frottoir – a steel, ribbed board played with metal keys.  An instrument unique to zydeco, it provides a rhythm foundation and is often worn as a vest.  David is joined by his brothers, Anthony (accordion) and Tiger (drums).  Brother Dwayne, another celebrated Dopsie, and accordionist (who just performed with the Rolling Stones at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival), also guests on two songs: “Dopsie’s Boogie,” and “My Little Girl.”

The band includes harmonica player Patrick Williams, veteran Lee Allen Zeno, one of South Louisiana’s most in-demand bass players, as well as keyboardist Keith Vinet on Hammond B-3 and saxophonist Julius Handy.  Additional special guests include lead guitarist David Mansfield (who has played with Dylan, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams and many others).  Together they unleash inspired solos and hot licks over the course of the album.  Williams’ harp-blowing adds a significant dash of Chicago blues to the mix, as well.

More Fun With captures the rollicking good-time feel of a zydeco dance for a packed house at a rural roadhouse in South Louisiana. “Watch me work!” Dopsie Jr. announces on the first song,

“Dopsie Zydeco.”  Patrick Williams keeps the party going on “No Good Woman,” and then it’s time for slow dancing on “You’ll Lose A Good Thing,” as made famous by Barbara Lynn and then again by Freddy Fender.  “That Was Your Mother” reprises a classic song from Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland, that Simon recorded with accompaniment by Dopsie Sr. and his sons, including David and Tiger.  “Ma ‘Tite Fille,” popularized under that title by Buckwheat Zydeco, dates back to the 1948 recording of “Pine Grove Blues” by the Cajun accordionist Nathan Abshire, which has been covered by many Cajun and zydeco bands ever since.  Clifton Chenier’s poignant “I’m Coming Home” and Rockin’ Dopsie Sr’s “My Little Girl” venture into the realm of serious blues introspection, with intense workouts on accordion and B-3.

Says Dopsie Jr.: “We pay tribute to my father here.  We recorded songs that he wrote, like ‘My Little Girl,’ or songs he’s associated with like ‘That Was Your Mother.’ My dad would be so proud that all four of his sons are on this album. It makes me think back to when I was a kid. I remember when B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and other R&B and blues artists would play in Lafayette, they’d come to our house and visit my dad, he’d make a gumbo, or we’d barbecue in the backyard. I loved listening to my dad and those guys talk,” he reflects. “I learned a lot from them. My dad would love how we put our own new twist on his music.”

More information on zydeco: Zydeco (pronounced ZY-duh-coe) is the vivacious dance music of southwest Louisiana’s Black Creoles, many of whom speak French or have ancestors who did.  It is a rich hybrid of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and African-American styles such as blues, R&B, soul and, more recently, rap and hip-hop.  Country music, swamp-pop, reggae, rock and even medieval songs from France also factor into this multi-cultural blend.  Zydeco’s purpose is to make people MOVE!  As zydeco legend Clifton Chenier once put it, “If you can’t dance to zydeco, you can’t dance  —   period!”  Chenier was absolutely right  —  just try sitting still after hitting play on More Fun With Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.



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