Michael Doucet has led his Zydeco and Cajun unit, BeauSoleil, for more than two decades, enriching his listener’s lives with a vivid dissection of America’s vast cultural musical styles. On their latest, Alligator Purse, BeauSoleil venture once more into the fire, and return with one of the finest projects of their career.
Each song has a unique tilt to it, and Doucet and company are joined by Garth Hudson, John Sebastian and Natalie Merchant to amp up Alligator Purse’s star power. The result is a breathtaking mix of country, blues, folk and rock, all tattooed with BeauSoleil’s unique stamp and dance-worthy groove. Some of the highlights include "Rouler et Tourner," a balanced take on the Bob Dylan cover of Muddy Water’s "Rollin’ & Tumblin’," Natalie Merchant’s vocal treatment of the Buddy and Julie Miller classic, "Little Darlin’," and Garth Hudson’s Band-like touches on "I Spent All My Money Loving You." Through it all BeauSoleil swings hard on "Reel Cajun" and "Bosco Stomp."
It may be too early to mention, but BeauSoleil’s Alligator Purse looks to be one of the best of 2009.
Alligator Purseis out now January 20 on Yep Roc.