Musical Highlights 

Look out, there’s a full weekend of music ahead.

If dancing is your thing and you have not discovered the zydeco dance parties sponsored by the CreoleArts folks, you are missing out on something great. Zydeco is a unique musical genre that emerged from the plains and bayous of Southwest Louisiana in the 1940s. Bands using accordions and rub boards in addition to guitar, bass and drums mixed field songs with West African and Caribbean rhythms to shape a syncopated, hypnotic beat that caught on in rural dance halls. Zydeco primarily remained a regional secret until the 1980s when the groove found popularity nationwide.

CreoleArts has brought touring zydeco bands to Richmond for five years now, and the Creole Ramblers band that comes to town Thursday features Dexter Ardoin at the Boulevard Deli. Members of the Ardoin family were crucial to the early development of zydeco, so you’re getting the real deal when this accordion player performs. But what if you don’t know how to dance the zydeco? No problem. Just come at 7 p.m. for a dance lesson. And even if you don’t dance, the unique energy of the music is its own draw.

And while energy is a topic, I can’t say enough about the music of the Deanna Bogart Band. Deanna and her three-piece group make their first appearance at Ashland Coffee and Tea on Friday. This Washington, D.C.-based singer tours the country regularly with her high-octane boogie piano and soulful R&B sax. Her original pop and rock tunes are both intensely personal and fun. When she and the band connect with an audience, it’s a wild ride.

In an electric blues vein, the River City Blues Society celebrates its fourth anniversary with a show by guitarist Sean Costello at the Boulevard Deli on Friday. There are many good, young guitar talents out there, but unlike most, Costello ditches slick tricks for technique. His Richmond gig last year at the Deli showcased a gut-bucket style that had the old-school blues fans there in awe. This guy has the chops.

And if that’s not enough, Friday also marks the return of Orpheus to the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. The five-piece band mixes a grab bag of styles including folk, rock and swing with taste and humor. Noted harp and slide guitarist Stephen Bennett is featured, but Bill Gurley on fiddle and mandolin, pianist Jim Bennett, bass player Jimmy Masters and percussionist Larry Emmanuel are not to be denied. S

Dexter Ardoin plays the Boulevard Deli, 5218 W. Broad St., 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 15. Cover is $8.

Deanna Bogart appears at Ashland Coffee and Tea, Friday, Jan. 16, 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and are available through www.ashlandcoffeeandtea.com.

Sean Costello performs at the Boulevard Deli, 8:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 16, 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance at Plan 9 locations and the Deli, and $12 day of the show.

Orpheus plays the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, Friday, Jan. 16, 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at Plan 9 locations and $20 day of the show. Call 231-2547 for more information.


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