By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Jul 29, 2009
Lafayette Marquis is just plain lewd. It's got a boogie beat, atmosphere thicker than Louisiana fog, production that emphasizes the beat, molasses-thick lyrics that don't aspire to profundity --- it's the good times music you've been looking for. Late-night transport to a sexy mystery. A worthy successor to Dr. John and John Fogerty.
C.C. Adcock hails from Lafayette, Louisiana --- Cajun country, west of Baton Rouge. Average rainfall: 61 inches a year. On rainy days in his childhood, little Charlie Adcock learned to play guitar. By 14, he had a band that he remembers as "a rhythm and blues Menudo." He played with Bo Diddley, toured with Buckwheat Zydeco, and made a much-praised first CD, C.C. Adcock.
A decade passed, and then came "Lafayette Marquis." Well, he is a nobleman --- at least in his clothes. He likes custom-made suits and expensive shoes (the reptilian pattern on the CD cover is from his boots). But when he talks about his songs, he's no gent. One song, for him, is "a score to a cock-fighting scene --- it's about a couple of oilfield, renegade, ruffneck podnuhs of mine."
The song that will win you over is “Y'All'd Think She'd Be Good 2 Me.” (Warning: Once ingested, good luck it getting it out of your head.) It opens with an ominous groove and a pounding beat, and that crazy drumming just doesn’t stop. There are invocations from the church of Cajun, a guitar solo that the young Clapton would have envied, electronic mixing that amps up the sense of wrongness --- “She’s no good for me/She put a shame on the name of my family” --- and then it all comes together in one butt-shaking climax. [Listen to it here.]
How fun a guy is C.C. Adcock? Listen to him talk about his home town:
On any given night, you can start out in the country with some food, drop in to a Cajun dance hall and watch the old folks glidin' round the floor, then put the top down and jump back into town and rock around to the new sounds of some up-and-coming-cats. Then, you can cross the tracks and bump at a Zydeco disco, have a few Crown & Sevens and -- at the end of the night -- head south to another Parish where they stay open all night, and you can boogie `til daybreak in front of a classic swamp-pop jukebox and still make it home in time for Mass. And that's not even a fairy tale night.
“Lafayette Marquis” is like the souvenir of such a night. I picture a monster of a car --- an old Mercury with a sleek V-8 under the hood. A VFW hall with a neon sign that you almost can't see through the fog. Women in cotton dresses, men in jeans. Beer in bottles. And on stage, a powerhouse band, playing tight songs about loose females. A crazy fiddler gives the boogie some Cajun twang. The drum sounds hollow as a barrel. The bass player drives the beat like a steam engine. And above it, C.C. sings lyrics that are family-friendly only because they're too slurred to hear.