Chubby Carrier takes Zydeco/Cajun Grammy

by Dege Legg

Acadiana's Chubby Carrier took home the Grammy award in the Zydeco/Cajun category at last night's 2011 Grammy Awards ceremony.

Last night's Grammy Awards were, as usual, a big throw down with many industry surprises. The most note worthy of which was Canadian alt-rock band Arcade Fire, winning Album of the Year for their record The Suburbs. Other highlights included Neil Young finally winning his first Grammy Award and the shut-out of teen idol Justin Bieber, who went home with no awards.

Obviously, the biggest news for Louisiana was the Zydeco/Cajun Grammy, which went to longtime zydeco musician Chubby Carrier. Carrier and band won for their album Zydeco Junkie. The album, released on his own label (Swampadelic Records) is a 10-song showcase of Carrier's trademark zydeco party songs. The album also includes his accordion-driven version of "Movin' On Up," the theme from The Jeffersons television show.

Other musicians in the 2011 Zydeco/Cajun Grammy category included Cedric Watson, D. L. Menard, Feufollet and the Pine Leaf Boys for the albums listed below.

En Couleurs, Feufollet
Happy Go Lucky, D.L. Menard
Back Home, The Pine Leaf Boys
Creole Moon: Live At The Blue Moon Saloon, Cedric Watson et Bijou Créole

Carrier began his music career in Louisiana dancehalls playing in his father's zydeco band in the 1970s and kept on keeping on, forming his own band and releasing a total of 11 records since 1989. Carrier is the fourth winner in the four-year-old zydeco/Cajun Grammy category. His win follows the previous winners Terrance Simien, BeauSoleil and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Not that the Zydeco/Cajun Grammy Award is a game to be exploited, but in the unspoken battle of sectarian politics and Louisiana culture, Carrier's win brings the number of zydeco wins in the category to three, while Cajun musicians are lumbering in at just one with BeauSoleil's win in 2009 for Live At The 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.