The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, February 4, 1987
Red hot zydeco Queen in town
By Alan Paul
Queen Ida likes to make sure
that everyone has a good time. She
thinks of it as her job.
"I'm more or less a missionary,"
Ida said, "I'm going out and
spreading good vibes. I work the
audience and make them feel a part
of it. I'm there for them, and I want
to make sure everyone has a good
Ida plays zydeco music, a good-
time Louisiana blend of traditional
cajun, rock and roll, blues, rythm
and blues, and country swing.
"Never heard of it," you may snear.
Well, it's about time you did and
there's no better chance than
tonight when Queen Ida and the
BonTemps Zydeco Band storm into
the Nectarine Ballroom.
Obviously, many musical
components go into zydeco but one
basic thing comes out - a good
time. While zydeco may seem to be
a bizarre meshing of divergent
styles - Ida calls it "musical
gumbo" - it must be remembered
that the music hails from Louisiana
and New Orleans probably contains
the richest musical heritage in the
Zydeco rose out of this swampy
background and onto the national
club scene some 25 years ago when
"King of Zydeco" Clifton Chenier
molded together blues and cajun
music and took his act on the road,
touring continuously. Twelve years
ago, San Francisco school bus
driver and mother Ida Guillory
played her accordian with her
brothers' zydeco band at a small
gathering. A San Francisco
Chronicle reporter was on hand,
loved the music and Ida's fantastic
stage presence, and wrote a glowing
review of "Queen Ida."
"All of a sudden, all these
promoters were calling me and
wanting to book me into clubs,"
Ida recalled with a laugh, "And I
didn't even have a band and had no
intentions of making a career of the
thing or anything."
Nonetheless, she kept getting
calls and eventually decided to play
a few gigs with her brother's band
as a sort of experiment. These dates
led to appearances in 1974 at the
prestigious San Francisco Blues and
Monterey Jazz Festivals. She's
been touring ever since, gaining
popularity and surprising even
"I have been very surprised," Ida,
a Louisiana native, admitted. "It's
not anything I ever had in mind. I
guess the music was just in me
waiting to come out. Obviously I
had some talent and I'm happy to
entertain. I've always been 'the life
of the party' type of person. You
know, 'Let's all be happy."'
But it's hard to be happy when
no one knows just what you're
doing. Unfortunately, this was the
case for many of Ida's initial years
on the road. Still, she went out and
played her music, spreading the
gospel wherever she went.
Recently, zydeco has become better
known as Paul Simon recorded a
song with the "Prince of Zydeco,"
Rockin' Dopsie for his recent
The change has been noticed and
appreciated by Ida.
"I consider myself a pioneer.
Clifton was first, then me.
Bringing the music out there and
working it when it wasn't popular
at all," Ida said. "Now it's being
played in the mainstream and I
think it's great. Only one thing
kept the music down and from not
being in the mainstram, and that's
that it wasn't on the radio. Now,
with it on the Simon album, it's
being played some."
"It's a great feeling," Ida
continued. "I'm still pumping (the
accordian) and now we see a lot of
artificial musical barriers breaking
Ida has had a hand in knocking
down many of these barriers and
continues to tour six months a
year, taking her guaranteed good
time all around the country. So,
hey, laissez le bontemps rolle!
Queen Ida and the Bontemps
Zydeco band are playing one show
tonight at the Nectarine Ballroom
tonight at 9:00. Tickets are $7.50
at the door.
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310 MAYNARD - (INSIDE DOOLEY'S)
Queen Ida appears tonight at the Nectarine Ballroom.
Twenty Appropriate, Allitera-
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Yes, the new 3-song 12" by
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guitar band is indeed an adventure in
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These thumpasaurus peoples spew a
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amazing, thrusting the song
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bomb force. The flip side, a cover
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is a slippery-slidy (and sort of silly)
slice of sonic tonic, featuring the
finest use of cow bells this side of
Wisconsin. This disc won't put an
end to critical comparisons with
crosstown rivals Sonic Youth
(obviously, since that's just what
I'm doing), but it is a fine tart and
tangy morsel to add to anyone's
budding skronk collection.
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" l 1- University Library Workshops
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are available in the following broad 8 Apr. 10:30-11:00 a.m.
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Examples of individual databases are: Registration: Required, use the MTS
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information, contact any campus library are covered. The lecture includes a
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SEARCH SERVICES". and how to construct search strategies.
The two-hour session also provides online
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available on BRS. BRS Information 19 Mar. 7:00-9:00 p m.
Technologies is a commercial company , 14 Apr. 2:00-4:00 p.m.
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and database selection. The lecture message system to send to "University
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12 Mar. 7:00-9:00 p.m. Colleague. Participants learn basic system
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