Buckwheat Zydeco is thrilled and honored to perform on “Willie Nelson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” a PBS music special honoring singer-songwriter Willie Nelson’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The event is taping on November 18, 2015 at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., and it will premiere Friday, January 15, 2016 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), as part of PBS Arts. The program will also be broadcast at a later date via the American Forces Network to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world.
The broadcast will feature performances by Nelson, as well as Buckwheat Zydeco, Edie Brickell, Leon Bridges, Rosanne Cash, Ana Gabriel, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Raul Malo of The Mavericks, Neil Young, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and past Gershwin Prize honoree Paul Simon — with Don Was as music director (program subject to change).
The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is named in honor of the legendary George and Ira Gershwin. This award recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture. The prize is given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.
The Gershwin Prize was first awarded to Paul Simon in May 2007 – and Buckwheat Zydeco also performed on that program, dueting with Lyle Lovett. It was then presented to Stevie Wonder in February 2009, Sir Paul McCartney in June 2010, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in May 2012, Carole King in 2013, and Billy Joel in 2014.
With a career that spans six decades, Nelson’s music pushes genre boundaries and his lyrics give voice to America’s heartland. He put his imprint forever on country music and introduced it to new audiences by expanding music’s avenues in the 1970s to create “outlaw country.” He has continually broadened his musical language, crossing into jazz, blues, folk, rock and Latin styles. A guitar virtuoso with a unique voice, Nelson is an artist whose work continues to inspire new musicians of diverse genres.
“Willie Nelson has redrawn the boundaries of country music throughout his storied career,” said David Mao, Acting Librarian of Congress. “The sincerity, longevity and diversity of his appeal perfectly reflect the spirit of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Since the Library began presenting the prize, PBS has brought this celebration of creativity directly and more broadly to the American people. We’re pleased that people across the country will be able to join in the recognition of this great artist and songwriter.”
For more information about “Willie Nelson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” visit www.pbs.org/Gershwin-Prize. An electronic press kit, including downloadable talent photos for promotional use, is available at www.pressroom.pbs.org. To follow “The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song” on Twitter, use hashtag #PBSgershwin.
Buckwheat’s World, Buckwheat Zydeco’s new YouTube channel, brings a unique inside view of southwest Louisiana’s culture through the music, life and times of its star, Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. and his band. The channel features short video episodes showcasing Buckwheat Zydeco in new live performances, and entertaining and intimate personal mini-documentaries that tell the story of this unforgettable character.
Buck, band members and friends are presented at work and at play at home and on the road. New episodes are produced and uploaded regularly and notified to subscribers. Buckwheat’s World is created by two-time Peabody Award winning filmmakers, Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, who have made a number of classic films about Louisiana, and longtime Buckwheat Zydeco collaborator, Ted Fox.
“YouTube is where people are hearing and seeing music today,” said Fox. “Buckwheat Zydeco was the first zydeco band with a major label deal, then the first to start its own label. Now we’re the first with our own YouTube channel. We always strive for the best way to reach our fans and make new ones.”
Viewers of Buckwheat’s World have various viewing options: The episode, Playback, documents a behind-the-scenes look at the creation and debut of a new song. The Dockside Sessions playlist offers exciting live in the studio videos of Buckwheat Zydeco playing their favorites… including performances with pals like C.J. Chenier, Keith Frank, and Roddie Romero.
Buckwheat’s World also allows viewers to spend some quality time with a truly unique character, Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. – a Grammy winner and Jimmy Fallon guest who grew up picking cotton at age 5. Fans have experienced the joy, enthusiasm, dynamism and decency of Buck’s personality on stage, and showing that and telling his story is what Buck and the makers of Buckwheat’s World want to unfold through as these mini-documentary episodes.
Jimmy Fallon, the guy who has dueted with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, President Obama and anyone else he wanted, chose Buckwheat Zydeco to kick off Friday’s final Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. Fallon takes over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno on February 17.
Playing “On a Night Like This” from Buckwheat Zydeco’s first Island Records album of the same name, super fan Jimmy Fallon performed alongside Buckwheat Zydeco and The Roots. The show opened “cold” without any announcement except a tight close-up of “Buckwheat” spelled out in jeweled letters on Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural’s accordion. Buckwheat and Jimmy traded vocals on Buckwheat Zydeco’s cover of this little known Bob Dylan tune. Jimmy rocked out on a red guitar, and the two played out the song with a rousing instrumental throw down.
Jimmy said he wanted Buckwheat Zydeco’s appearance on his last show to be a surprise. He introduced and thanked Buckwheat from his desk after the performance, and displayed the band’s latest, Grammy-winning Alligator Records album, “Lay Your Burden Down”.
“Man we had a blast,” said Dural. “It was such an honor to be a part of this. It’s history! And Jimmy and The Roots couldn’t have been nicer. It felt like our home away from home.”
BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO’S BAYOU BOOGIE Buck’s back with his first new kids’ album in 15 years! Order now from Amazon.com Buckwheat Zydeco’s Bayou Boogie is out now on the Music For Little People label. This family dance party collection from the bayous of Southwest Louisiana also features children’s music superstars Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes. Buckwheat Zydeco’s Bayou Boogie is the long-awaited follow up to Buck’s 1994 beloved children’s album, Choo Choo Boogaloo. That recording won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and received a Parents’ Choice “Approval” rating as well as 5 Stars (Top rating) on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Epinions.com. Offbeat says: “Like it’s predecessor, Bayou Boogie is a joyous blast of zydeco, funk and R&B that teaches kids about the heritage and instruments of zydeco while inspiring the whole family to get up and dance.” Just as Buck is so well known for in his legendary live shows: smoking accordion, rocking Hammond B3 organ, rollicking rub board and sizzling guitar licks join together on this recording to create a musical gumbo of Creole culture that can almost be smelled and tasted. Buck guides children and parents through a rollicking mix of some of the most family-friendly classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes and great original songs performed in a Zydeco style as only Buckwheat Zydeco can. The result is a rich tribute to this unique melting pot of American culture. Buckwheat Zydeco’s Bayou Boogie is designed to introduce children to a fun time at Buck’s place on the bayou, and it kicks into high gear with the joyous “We’re Having a Party.” Buck and friends get kids into a festive mood with good-time boogie classics like “Barefootin’” and “Walking the Dog,” and Buck and guests all put their right feet in on “Hokey Pokey.” Buck’s own “The Mice Ate My Rice” and “Ripsy Dipsy” prove that nothing stops him from having a good time, even when “Everything Hurts.” The celebration ends as happily as it started with “The Party’s Over.” “Children are our future and our treasure,” says Buck. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing kids have a good time, and I’m so proud to be able to introduce them to my musical roots and get them boogying to the sounds of Zydeco music.”