High resolution photos of Chris Ardoin and NuStep posted on
2008 CD: V.I.P.
V.I.P., Chris Ardoin’s 2008
CD, pushes his music further in the direction
established in M.V.P., his last recording. As the
“Candyman,” he describes his sound as a mix of
“traditional zydeco, contemporary and modern R&B, and a
hint of hip hop.” In developing his own unique musical
identity, he is very conscious of the Creole tradition
established by his grandfather, Alphonse “Bois Sec”
Ardoin, his father, Lawrence Ardoin, and other members
of the legendary Ardoin family, but he wants to mark out
his own territory, different from everyone else,
starting “his own legacy of Ardoin music.” The result is
a smooth, sensuous blend of vocal harmonies and
instrumentation with a strong, highly danceable beat.
There are echoes of old style zydeco in songs like
“Throwback Mission,” but on most cuts Chris Ardoin
offers listeners a very different brand of music than
that played by his ancestors. Lafayette’s up and coming
R&B star Cupid makes an appearance on two cuts, and the
remix of the album’s title cut includes two rappers from
details on the 2006 CD M.V.P.
2005 CD "Sweat"
Sweat, Chris Ardoin's first CD as the
leader of his renamed band NuStep, offers more smooth, danceable
songs, all his own compositions. The CD was released in March
The lyrics are often romantic
or even more directly physical as in the title cut: "I want to
make you sweat, get ya all soaking wet." "Ya Body" is an
extended remix of a 2002 song recorded live a Richard's Club in
Lawtell. "Feelin' U" adds a Latin beat to the zydeco sound.
Chris offers an old-style "No Love Waltz"
with English lyrics, and there is also a version of "Lake
Charles Two-Step" with English lyrics (dedicated to Mr. and Mrs.
Gene Chambers of LeBeau). "Bury Me" is a slow drag zydeco blues.
In "Going Back," Chris describes a woman who "had everything but
lost it all, and that's why she's going back to Duralde."
The CD has 17 cuts, recorded and produced by Chris himself.
more information, go to the Official Chris Ardoin Web Site.
here for more 2005 photos.
Chris Ardoin at Festival International in
Lafayette April 24, 2005
In 2004, Chris
Ardoin and Double Clutchin'
have been rechristened Chris
Ardoin and NuStep. It's still the
same band, and they'll still play Double Clutchin' music, but
they are also planning to head in new directions. In addition,
Chris is preparing to release an album of traditional music.
Official Web Site for details.
Save The Last Dance, the final
album recorded as Double Clutchin', released by
J & S Records in
February 2004, may very well be the best yet: smooth, tight,
highly danceable, with thirteen new songs (12 by
"Pay My Bills by Jay Doucet) and a cover of Sam Cooke's "Change
"Lonely Waltz" reminds us that Zydeco can
produce some lovely waltz numbers. Another song humorously
describes the experience of seeing a woman who "looks good from
far" but up close is "far from good." The title cut shows how
Ardoin can build on the traditional accordion melodies of
Creole music played by his father and grandfather to create a
contemporary song that includes some beautiful vocal harmonies.
The photos in this section of
and Harold Guillory on scrubboard were taken at the
Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Day held at Chicot State
Park November 8, 2004.
Chris Ardoin in
Click here to go to the Official Chris
Ardoin and NuStep Site for schedules, contacts, bio, CD list,
Chris Ardoin is a member of a famous Creole musical dynasty: the grandson of Bois Sec
Ardoin, a legendary accordion player whose cousin, Amédé
Ardoin, was a central figure in
the development of both Creole and Cajun music, and the son of Lawrence
"Black" Ardoin, who still plays music in the old Creole style at festivals with
his band, Tradition Creole.
Ardoin has been performing
most of his life. According to Michael Tisserand,
Chris was only four years old when he
first played the accordion in public, appearing at a gumbo cookoff in Texas before some
3,000 people. A few years later, in 1990, Chris
Ardoin and his brother, Sean, performed at
Carnegie Hall with their grandfather, father, and uncles. However, as he became a
teenager, Chris told his father that he wanted to go in a new direction away from the
traditional Creole music on which he was raised. His father decided to support his son as
he worked to create his own musical style. Collaborating with Sean,
established his own version of zydeco driven by the bass drum kicks that produce the
"double clutchin'" sound of nouveau zydeco. In addition to playing drums, Sean
also wrote songs and handled most vocals. The band's first CD, That's Da Lick,
was released in 1994 by Maison de Soul, followed by another Maison de Soul album in 1995, Lick
It Up!. Ardoin subsequently signed with Rounder Records, which released Gon' Be
Jus' Fine in 1997, Turn the Page in 1998, and Best Kept Secret in
summer 2000, the first album recorded without Sean
Ardoin, who left in 1999 to establish
his own band.
Ardoin and Double Clutchin', still managed by his
father, is one of the most popular zydeco bands in Southwest Louisiana. On Best Kept
Ardoin demonstrates both his ability to compose original songs and his
vocal skills that are now starting to match his mastery of the diatonic and triple-row
accordions. Previous albums have also included a traditional song (like Sean
memorable version of "Les Barres de la Prison" on Turn the Page), but,
though Best Kept Secret includes an older song, John Delafose's "I Don't Want
Nobody Here But You," the songs are all in English.
for 2002 photos and Information on Chris Ardoin's self-titled 2002 CD released by J
& S Records of Ville Platte.
Most of the photographs on this page were taken May 26, 2000, at
a Friday night street performance in downtown Opelousas. Lawrence
Ardoin was on hand to
help set up, and he also was able to resolve some electrical problems. The photograph
below was taken at the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival in 1999, when, in addition to
performing on the main stage, Chris
Ardoin appeared in the Heritage Tent. He is shown with
Edward Poullard, who plays fiddle in Lawrence Ardoin's band, Tradition Creole.