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Lil Brian & The Traveler's

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Lil Brian & The Zydeco Travelers are living up to their reputation as the most innovative and musically accomplished young zydeco band on the scene today. Lil Brians latest release, Funky Nation, is the bands boldest statement yet that zydeco can be a cutting edge sound as vital to a new generation of fans as it has been for longtime buffs. Significantly, it also represents the first time Stanley Buckwheat Duralof the genres top band, Buckwheat Zydecohas produced another artist. And Funky Nation is the first album by another artist to be released on Durals own record label, Tomorrow Recordings. We believe in Lil Brian & The Zydeco Travelers, says Dural, and we think Funky Nation will make a believer out of people all over America, too. There is no limit to Lil Brians future. He can take zydeco to another level. The undisputed capitol of Lil Brian Terrys Funky Nation, is the hamlet of Barrett Station, TexasB.S.T. to those in the know. This unprepossessing, well kept, Texas crossroads, just outside Baytown and not far from H-Town (Houston), is smack dab in the middle of East Texas zydeco country. the Creole people of this part of the country, most with strong Louisiana roots, are at least as ardent about zydeco as their neighbors across the border in Louisiana. The clubs, festivals and radio there pulse with zydeco rhythms both traditional and new, enjoyed by young and old. In this milieu, for the past decade and more, Lil Brian & The Zydeco Travelers have developed a reputation as the most innovative and musically accomplished zydeco band on the scene. Brilliantly drawing upon contemporary urban black sounds while remaining respectful and true to their zydeco roots, Lil Brian & The Zydeco Travelers have created an incredibly exciting modern form of zydeco music that is both rhythmically and lyrically sophisticated and just plain unbelievably funky! They have dubbed their music Z-Funk. Lil Brian has become an amazing practitioner of both the large piano note accordion and the old-style diatonic accordion. The 27-year-old is serious about showing how this instrument can be as hip as any in contemporary music. There are no limits to this music, he says. I love the roots of zydeco, but we listen to the music thats happening today, and my music is the way I feel the music today. Helping Lil Brian & The Zydeco Travelers to take such bold steps on Funky Nation, is mentor and musical Godfather, Stanley Buckwheat Dural, Jr. who produced the album along with longtime collaborator and manager, Ted Fox. It was at Buckwheat Zydecos wild shows in Houstons Catholic church halls that 12-year-old Lil Brian was first spellbound by the big piano note accordion played by the Maestro. Buck encouraged the youngster, and was instrumental in launching his career. Lil Brian responded by absorbing Bucks musical lessons and developing his utter confidence in his ability to take zydeco where it had never been before. Brian even had a picture of Bucks accordion tattooed on his right biceps! Lil' Brian frst picked up an accordion at age 13. He and his parents, Felmon and Velma, were befriended by Dural, who encouraged the youngster. Lil' Brian also benefited from his exposure to his distant relatives, the father and son zydeco greats, John and Geno Delafose, whom Lil' Brian would visit in Louisiana on summer vacations. With help from Mom and Dad, Lil' Brian outfitted a band and began playing local gigs. A year later, at the suggestion of Dural, he sent the first of several demo tapes to Rounder Records' Scott Billington. Longtime Buckwheat Zydeco bassist, Lee Allen Zeno, began working with the band, and went on to co-produce with Billington Lil' Brian & the Zydeco Travelers' first two albums, Fresh (1995) and Z-Funk (1997).
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