LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN is the most ambitious, deepest and varied recording of Buckwheat Zydeco's career. It is a remarkably conceived, rocking album featuring five new Buckwheat originals and complete reinventions of songs by Memphis Minnie (When The Levee Breaks, made famous by Led Zeppelin), Bruce Springsteen (Back In Your Arms), Gov't Mule (Lay Your Burden Down), Captain Beefheart (Too Much Time), Jimmy Cliff (Let Your Yeah Be Yeah) and JJ Grey & Mofro (The Wrong Side). Guests on the album include Sonny Landreth, Warren Haynes, Steve Berlin, JJ Grey and Trombone Shorty. As New Orleans author Ben Sandmel writes in the liner notes, "LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN pulses with music that tells a story. Since it's zydeco, this album will naturally get feet to moving. But LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN speaks with equal eloquence to the head, and the heart." In this, Buckwheat's first post-Katrina album, Louisiana's life-affirming jazz funeral philosophy of renewal - partying in the face of adversity - is on full display, with joyful, rhythmic dance music and deeper, more intense songs sharing the same celebratory bayou sprit. With LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN, Buckwheat Zydeco's large and loyal fan base will have to make room for a massive influx of new converts.
''The results are stunning...The entire work is a vibrant testament to Buckwheat Zydeco s spirit, reminding us that Louisiana s musical heritage has taken all the hurricanes could give. This is an album that can introduce a new generation of music fans to the world of Zydeco music and serve as a wonderful reminder about what a great Zydeco band can do.'' --Living Blues
''Lay Your Burden Down
ends up being Dural's most accomplished and mature album yet, moving from start to finish like everything belongs together. Nothing misses its mark, and several tracks do so much more than that... He has given us something else again, an album that works both at the dance party and still rings clear the next day when maybe it's time to dig deeper and do a little thinking. It's the best kind of musical synthesis.'' --AllMusic.com
''A propulsive, rollicking, swamp-boogie joy ride.'' --People
''Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural, Jr. is the leader of the world's hottest zydeco band. Buckwheat is a brilliantly dexterous musician belting it out with a terrific set of pipes while exuding consummate showmanship. From beginning to end, Buck throws it down and slams it sideways.'' -- Offbeat
''Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural Jr. is well-known for his zydeco sound, but his Alligator Records debut is more of an R&B album. Dural has teamed with an impressive array of talent on this disc, including producer Steve Berlin and guitarists Sonny Landreth and Warren Haynes. The material includes covers of tunes by Memphis Minnie, Captain Beefheart, Jimmy Cliff and Haynes' Gov't Mule (the title track). The album opens with Dural on Hammond B3 and Landreth on lead guitar, assaying a ferocious cover of 'When the Levee Breaks'--a pointed reference to Hurricane Katrina. Another high point is Dural's rendition of Jimmy Cliff's 'Let Your Yeah Be Yeah,' a propitious meeting of zydeco and reggae. Also note the Dural original 'Don't Leave Me,' a fine number that invokes the soul of Stax, with a little accordion on the side and a sweet horn solo from Trombone Shorty. --Philip Van Vleck -- Billboard Magazine, May 23, 2009
Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural leads one of the best bands in America. A down-home and high-powered celebration, meaty and muscular with a fine-tuned sense of dynamics...propulsive rhythms, incendiary performances. ----New York Times