R.I.P. Joseph Roy Carrier, Zydeco Legend

Categories: Obituaries

The jolly man of the accordion is with us no longer. Sometimes known as Zydeco Roy, Roy Carrier is the last of the original Zydeco players that came up in the 50's and 60's who put Louisiana's sexy blend of Cajun and LaLa music on the American roots map.

A contemporary and devotee of Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis and Delton Broussard, Roy's attitude towards basing zydeco music on the blues ensured his longevity and the affectionate nickname of "Living Legend." His was a hard life begun February 11th, 1947 on the fields of Louisiana with his sharecropping family and joining the live music circuit alongside his father at the age of ten honed his craft. Usually backed by one of the many incarnations of his Night Rockers Band, Roy Carrier was a stalwart persona of the genre that can be compared to what Junior Kimbrough did for Delta blues.

There's something endemically fun in Zydeco music and it is best portrayed in the ease and skill with which he created sound on the accordion, a beast of an instrument that is often forgotten or relegated to "Mariachi" music, which is cool because the genres share a similar ancestry. Though he did not record until the 1980's, there are plenty of compact disc compilations of his studio and live work available through his website. Make a racket in Heaven baby, get them angels dancing!

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