I’ve sort of copped an arrangement of the California Cajun Orchestra
recording because it was
the first version of the song that I heard!
People frequently ask me “Cajun .. Zydeco .. What’s the difference
Well, at times, it can be hard to pin down because I don’t think that
there really are any hard and fast rules.
But I do know that it is common for one to be able to play Cajun melody on
the accordion without any accompaniment and the tune can be very
Frequently, in Zydeco music, the accordion part is a repetitive riff that
accompanies the vocal. And it is frequently driven with a hard bass-drum
line as well. The accordion my take a very syncopated line.
This particular arrangement does not follow the recently popular
“ska-esque” rhythm, but it does feel more Zydeco than Cajun to me.
A couple of noteworthy points here .. There are some right hand “tricks”
of alternating between octaves. And, if one keeps the left hand going on the
familiar bass-chord-bass-chord pattern you’ll quickly discover that there
are some very funky little rhythm patterns going on for the left hand.
Above are examples of bouncing up & down the scale,
illustrated by the folk tune, "Flop Eared Mule", and
no .. this is not Zydeco :-)
This can be quite a challenge, but I think it’s worth mastering. It really
sets one up to get that left-right hand independence too!