Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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Chris Ardoin
and NuStep

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M.V.P., released by Chris Ardoin and NuStep in September 2006, is another excellent collection of original zydeco songs with appealing lyrics, a variety of rhythms and styles, and top quality production values.  Following up on previous CDs, Chris Ardoin continues to be a master of creating smooth, sensual music that blends zydeco with swing out and other styles to create the right groove for both for dancing and romancing.

The 19 cuts on the CD include songs like “Stallion,” “Fightin’ Temptation,” and “Where Do We Go?” 

“Thinkin’ ‘Bout Leavin’” features back and forth vocals with Tomeka Carrier singing about her decision to leave because a relationship shouldn’t be based on “material things.” “Waitin’ 4 This Moment” is a zydeco re-invention of the Phil Collins pop hit. Also featured on the CD are two different remixes of Chris Ardoin’s previous hit “Sweat.”

Fans of traditional zydeco are especially going to like “Canaille et Jalou,” which offers the refrain “You’re canaille, and I’m so jalou.” “Ride My Trailride” celebrates one of the popular settings for many zydeco performances in Southwest Louisiana on the weekend trailrides at which Chris Ardoin and NuStep frequently play.

Two cuts were recorded at a popular zydeco club that has now passed into history. A year or so before Richard’s Club near Lawtell closed forever, Chris Ardoin and NuStep did a live recording there. The two cuts from that session on the CD are “What Would U Do” and “Chicken Run,” a song referring to an annual Mardi Gras run in Lake Charles.

In the title cut, Chris Ardoin and NuStep proclaim their ranking in the realm of zydeco as the “Zydeco M.V.P.” To make sure we get the point, the next cut is “Whose Da Boss?” The answer is “the Candyman”—Chris Ardoin—the “Zydeco Boss.” In a later cut, the band invites us to march along to the “NuStep Anthem.”  Self-promotion has a long tradition in zydeco, and certainly Chris Ardoin and NuStep live up to their claims.


Photos were taken at the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival, September 2, 2006.

Posted 10-1-06

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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