"Best Kept Secret"

Rounder2162 CD  (2000)

                 (article from Roundup, from Rounder Records)

                          Chris Ardoin

You can't keep it on the low. The music of Chris Ardoin is a dancehall brushfire, a Creole cyclone. Two seconds into one of his stinging, Zydeco-fueled sets and the dance floor ignites. Don't fight it: iet it move you. Working the clubs to become a top attraction on the Gulf Coast circuit, Chris and his amazingly talented group now stand poised on the threshold of national recognition. The soon-to-be-ironically titled Best Kept Secret has the spark, grit, and undeniable charisma to kick-start America into Ardoin-mania.

 Leading the charge is 18-year-old Chris Ardoin.s virtuoso accordion work. No one -in Zydeco or any other genre -solos with such a f1uent edge. Best Kept Secret is filled with his rippling, almost jazzy stylings. But Ardoin also honors the accordion's role as a timekeeper, and his relentless pumping. matched with the clock-steady pulse of drummer Dexter Ardoin and bassist Curley Chapman. drI- ves Double Clutchin.s unstoDDable rhvthm.

 But accordion ain't all. For the first time on record, Chris steps out as a lead gui- tarist to be reckoned with. His playing -steeped In rock and blues, but crossed with a Zydeco zest -gives Double Clutchin' a contemporary bite. Check him out on "Holdin' On," and you'll agree.

 In the end though, what distinguishes Ardoin and Double Clutchin' from the many fine Zydeco dance bands out there is something bigger than instrumental flreworks or rhythmic vitality -though they've definitely got that goin' on. It's a vision. A vision of how Zydeco -decades after its inception -can still be a rele- vant, even progressive, musical force. Ardoin takes a lot from Zydeco: its pulse, its instrumentation, its audience. But he also gives something to it: soul, funk, blues, traces of rock, a youthful outlook, and an audience yearning for something new.

 Again, don't flght it. Let it move y ou. Md -whatever y ou do -don't keep It on the low. Chrls Ardoin and Double Clutchin' are a secret no more. If y ou don't believe It, join the party of weary dancers, sweaty fans, and frenzied revelers at one of thelr shows. Dr, pop this disk in and hear for yourself ...


"Holdin. On... "Papa Was a Rollin. Stone... "What You Got Down There? .Part 2." "Best Kept Secret," "Hold That Tiger." "What's In That Bayou?" "Lyin. Cryin' and Tryin'... "lf It Makes You Happy/lt Just Ain.t Right," "I Don.t Want Nobody Here But You," "Storm Don't Last Long," "Get Gone." "Chris.s Trail Ride"