Rooted in respect for traditional Cajun music, Zachary had new ideas for where the genre could take him. He wanted to contribute to the growth of the culture while still honoring its exuberant spirit. After 40 years of singing and songwriting, Zachary reflects on the impact of his bold choices. "What I really want to do is write songs that touch people and make them dance, but also make them cry, laugh and feel something. Thats what I try to do as a songwriter." "Theres always been an ambivalent relationship with myself and the tradition with the purist. I always wanted to take the tradition and bring it someplace. I didnt want to play music like I heard it. I wanted to take it, modify it and revive it to breathe my own spirit into it. A lot of people didnt like that and thats ok. But thats what I tried to do in the spirit of creating something." "The tradition is so powerful that its not easy to do that. Its not easy to write another song like 'la porte arrire'. So thats been a real challenge for me just in terms of the perception of myself as an artist and how people appreciate what I do." "But Iwouldn'tchange it, I dont regret a thing. Its just the path that I followed and its a path that few people, if any, have followed in the way that I have." "I hope that I contributed something to the tradition and to the musical culture of Louisiana, North America and to the world that has enriched somebody in someplace. If thats case, and Im pretty sure it is, then I feel satisfied."
Allons - Evolving the Tradition
Posted: September 12, 2014