It was a beautiful Tuesday evening in Macon, Georgia when Buckwheat Zydeco came to town. My original plans to attend this concert were dashed when my date called in sick. Usually, I would have called the evening a washout and stayed home, but this was Buckwheat Zydeco, and if he was going to drive all the way from Laffayette, Louisiana then I was going to get downtown to see him perform.
After cancelling my reservations at Downtown Grill (my date will regret that) and calling up an old beer drinking buddy who never turns down a free ticket to a concert, my motivation for the evening was once again high. For the pre-show warm up we opted for convenience of location for dinner and wandered into Main Street Pizza which is only a stone’s throw away from the Cox Capital Theatre. Upon entering the restaurant my buddy immediately recognized the pizzeria pie maker as none other than Macon's own Floco Torres! yep, Floco not only makes some great music (See our Top 5 local Musician list), but it turns out he can toss a mean pizza.
We decided to enjoy our pizza and some cold beers, acquired before entering Main Street pizza, on the spacious patio in back of the restaurant. While we were devouring the rather delicious pizza, once again my beer drinking buddy's keen eye noticed that the man himself was sitting inside a van parked in the alley way. It turns out that Buckwheat Zydeco is also a fan of really good pizza and was having a pre-show slice of Main Street's Best. We just had to interrupt his meal to shake his hand and thank him for coming to Macon, Georgia.
Well plied with beers and pizza we entered one of Macon’s best venues for a local concert, The Cox Capital theater ( http://gatewaymacon.org/top-5-lists/best-live-music.cms) This jewel of a music venue doesn’t have a bad seat in the house and this being a general admission show, we had our pick of choice seats. As soon as the show started, I knew this was going to be a concert to remember. Buckwheat’s accompanying band, the Ils Sont Partis Band warmed up the crowd and whipped them into the proper mood for the evening. By the time Buckwheat took the stage all the seats in the house were empty and the dance floor was packed. This legendary performer knew exactly what it takes to get a crowd up and moving.
Buckwheat and the Band transported Macon’s audience straight to the backwater bayou with their swampy-blend of zydeco, blues, and gospel-infused music. Equally adept on the keyboard, Buckwheat had the entire joint jumping as he seamlessly moved back and forth between his signature accordion and the old school Hammond B-3 organ. His son - who is also a multi-instrumentalist – assumed washboard duties, but also lent a hand on the Hammond at the beginning of the concert. The guitarist and trumpet player – who were both fantastic soloists – traded phrases back and forth throughout the night captivating the audience with their dazzling virtuosity. They even played a tribute song to Macon with their cover of Little Richard’s song, Directly From My Heart to You.
By the end of the show the buzz created by Buckwheat was flowing out of the Cox into the streets of Downtown Macon. This had to be one of the most entertaining and high energy Tuesday night concerts in recent memory. The overall experience, from getting a hand designed CD from Floco in return for sharing a cold beer, to meeting Buckwheat Zydeco in the back ally, to watching the local crowd dancing the night away to a nationally recognized band was priceless indeed. A big Thank You goes out to the Moon Hanger Group for making it all possible.
posted 05/01/2017 in