There is this other way of life in the south; a musical ethnicity that has simmered itself to a uniquely homespun flavor. Immersed in the culture since birth, Geno Delafose has lived the life of a true cowboy. He relies on his traditional Creole sensibility for guidance in music, and divides his time between touring and operating his Double D Ranch outside of Eunice, deep in Southwest Louisiana’s bayou country, where he breeds cattle and raises quarter horses.
Unbeknownst to many northerners, who often reserve the image of a cowboy for white Anglo-Saxons, Creoles (African-American Francophones) also share in the rural roots of hard work and dedication to the land. Geno epitomizes this cultural tradition. Born into a family of Zydeco musicians, at the ripe age of seven, Geno picked up the rubboard and joined his father John Delafose’s band the Eunice Playboys, an ensemble that Geno would one day lead. John Delafose was key in re-launching the current upsurge of Zydeco, and Geno is poised to crossover Zydeco to a wider country music audience with his charismatic cowboy spirit and lively presentation.
To this day, Geno still performs in many of the same dancehalls and churches that he visited as a child in his father’s group. Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie are no strangers to the stage. Performing a rigorous one hundred fifty shows each year has left the band in a rigid state of exactness. Cut after cut the group is right there, turning on a dime with each spicy lick emitted from Geno’s squeezebox.
Geno fuses his Creole roots and modern voice through his multi-accordion attack. Germans introduced the accordion to Louisiana, and, ever since, it has been a popular instrument thanks to its distinctive ability to speak above the hum in a crowded room of dancers. Geno plays the single-row and triple-row diatonic button accordions for more traditional “French style” tunes, and changes to piano accordion for pounding out contemporary Zydeco. Piano accordions were adopted for their chromatic versatility and ability to play “blue notes.” Up until the 1980s only the most sophisticated players could incorporate them into Zydeco.
Everybody’s Dancin’ released May 13, 2003 on Times Square Records, is Geno’s fourth release. A significant portion of the release is dedicated to reinterpreting Creole standards like “Le Bluerunner” and “He-Haw Breakdown”, in the band’s modern Zydeco vernacular. Fiddle--player Michael Doucet of BeauSoleil—America’s most-popular Cajun group—is featured on three tracks. Geno—who was just awarded Best Zydeco Artist at the 2003 Big Easy Awards in New Orleans—is not afraid to share his recipe for Zydeco with other approaches. Receiving the same progressive musical attention as the Creole standards are the old-fashioned waltzes, two-steps, blues, and soul numbers that decorate the album. The fact that each cut was recorded in one or two takes is further evidence of the band’s unyielding proficiency.
“Delafose appears to be one of those cultural guardians with the courage to inject modern influences and themes into traditional Zydeco, without sacrificing its integrity." - San Diego Tribune
“On both the traditional diatonic and more modern piano accordion, Delafose is a Keith Richards kind of player, leading the rhythm section while reeling off killer licks." - Orlando Sentinel