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Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers
Colorado Colleges Armstrong Quad
Saturday, April 6, noon

My grandmother, born and raised in the dusty heat of Tulsa, gets perturbed every time I use the word "funk" out of its Funk & Wagnall's context. When she was a kid and the Oklahoma summers grew unbearable, things would rot and mold and send off new and impressive aromas with each passing day. Her own mother, my great-grandmother, would stomp through the house waving her hand in front of wrinkled nose and declaring, "Boy! It's getting funky in here!" So to my grandmother, "funk" means something hot, pungent, and somewhat unnatural.

Which is a pretty good way to describe the music of Lil' Brian and the Zydeco Travelers, a five-member band from the Creole country of East Texas. Tied to the roots of Cajun music with lacy accordion, traditional rhythms and a rubboard player named Mandrell Rideau, the Zydeco Travelers have become one of the few bands out there that are transforming Southern folk music into progressive music. The band layers musical influences like reggae and rap over Zydeco, and then covers the whole thing in steamy, spicy, thumping funk for a distinctly Cajun, wholly ethnic, completely modern sound.

Lil' Brian and the Zydeco Travelers perform outside on Armstrong Quad, as part of Colorado College's continuing Black History celebration. Admission is free. Call 389-6607.

-- Kristen Sherwood

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