Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Buckwheat Zydeco: Joy on the New Haven Green

This BuckWheat Zydeco show was the opening concert of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. It was last Saturday night and it was free. What a show! These guys have a happy lively sound and you simply cannot resist dancing! Your feet move without your will. In these empty-pocket days, the price and the mood were exactly right. An acquaintance and  I headed New Haven way late, and didn't get to the show until 8PM, an hour into the festivities. We found a parking spot on the street not far from the green and waded into the crowd as a light rain began. The rain did not dampen spirits anywhere. The band even played a ten minute encore played strait through until 10:10!
The last time I saw Buckwheat Zydeco, it was in South Portland, Maine 1989 or 1990 or there about. I was living in Cornish Maine at the time, more or less seeing an odd man, tall and thin, somewhat conservative seeming in nature but who wore Billy Idol leather gloves with no fingers, who literally spent hours combing his long hair and beard, obsessed about his outfits and shoes. My old friend Rich who I'd known for probably 20 years prior to this, came over from Battleboro, VT to Maine to visit and we all met that night at some South Portland dive where the group was featured. As they ground out their intensely happy dance music, a melodrama unfolded.
The two men shook hands and eyed each other warily. My old friend, a fan of gothic horror with a tricky sense of humor, took me aside. "Misti, you are dating Charles Manson," he said with a grin. "Come on, look at him - can't you see the resemblance?." I was abashed. Didn't see the humor in it. Then, on the dance floor, my Charles Manson-look-a-like was cold, asked probing questions about the nature of my relationship with my old friend. He seemed sure it was more than a friendship we harbored. He acted so badly I left early. We never went out again. Anyway, this past Saturday, it was nice to actually enjoy Buckwheat Zydeco without distractions!