Chubby Carrier | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chubby Carrier

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Accordionist Roy "Chubby" Carrier is another zealous disciple of Louisiana's immortal zydeco king, the late Clifton Chenier. Like many other modern zydeco artists, Carrier has fused his music's rural roots with the cadences and energy of contemporary pop. The resulting blend might grate on those who prefer traditionalists like the Ardoin family, but for crowd-pleasing party music it's hard to beat. Carrier's brother Kevin is especially impressive as he kneels or leans backward nearly parallel to the floor, pounding and scraping out his infectious rubboard polyrhythms to traditional zydeco songs, Mardi Gras standards ("Iko Iko"), and modern pop-zydeco and Tex-Mex hybrids ("My Toot Toot"). Over the top, Carrier's squeeze box huffs and wheezes with that unmistakable carnival bounce and the band churns out a lively punch that makes it almost impossible not to dance. Some of the tradition's subtlety is lost, but the fun remains intact. Tonight, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989. Tuesday, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted; 528-1012.

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