Beau Jocque
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Beau Jocque
Beau Jocque
Beau Jocque at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, 1997
Background information
Andrus Espre
Born (1953-11-01)November 1, 1953
Duralde, Louisiana
Died September 10, 1999(1999-09-10) (aged 45)
Kinder, Louisiana
Genres Zydeco
Instruments Accordion
Labels Rounder

Beau Jocque (born Andrus Espre; November 1, 1953 – September 10, 1999) was a Louisiana French Creole zydeco musician active in the 1990s.

Beau Jocque is known for his gruff vocals, his fusion of many musical styles into zydeco, and above all, for the powerful energy of his rhythm and sound. Backed by the Hi-Rollers, he became one of the top dance-hall acts of his musical decade. He recorded and performed many songs in both Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole languages, primarily on the Rounder Records label.


Beau Jocque was born Andrus Espre[1] in Duralde, Louisiana[2] to Sandrus and Vernice (née Allen) Espre. He was also known to write poetry, and preach about respecting nature. He spent nine years in the Air Force, then came home to work as an electrician and welder. He was a long time resident of Kinder, Louisiana. After leaving the Air Force, he experienced a work-related accident, which left him temporarily bedridden and partially paralyzed. During his recuperation, he began playing his father's accordion.[2] Soon after, he put a band together, including his wife Shelly on rubboard. By 1989, just two years after his accident, Espre was one of the biggest draws on the Louisiana zydeco circuit.

Espre grew up speaking Louisiana Creole French and spoke it fluently. As he was physically a large man at 6 ft 6 in (198 cm) tall and 270 pounds (120 kg), he took the stage name "Beau Jocque," which is Louisiana Creole for "Big Guy." After only a few years, he had revolutionized the zydeco scene, adding funk and rock elements with his band, the Hi-Rollers.

In 1995, he suffered a heart attack in Austin, Texas while touring with Marcia Ball and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Radio stations in Louisiana had reported the 1995 heart attack was fatal, and he surprised his fans (including the town's mayor) by shortly thereafter appearing in the local supermarket in Kinder.[3]


Members of the Hi-Rollers include:[3]

  • Chuck Bush (bass)
  • Steve Charlot (drums)
  • Russell "Sly" Dorion (guitar)
  • Ray Johnson (guitar)
  • Mike Lockett (keyboard)
  • Wilfred Pierre (rubboard)


Beau Jocque was found collapsed in the shower by his wife, dead of an apparent heart attack[2] at the height of his career. He is buried in Saint Matildas Cemetery, Eunice, Louisiana.


Studio and live albums

Album title Record label Stock number Release year
Beau Jocque Boogie Rounder CD 2120 1993
Pick Up on This! Rounder CD 2129 1994
My Name is Beau Jocque Paula Records PCD-1031 1994
Nursery Rhyme Beau Jocques Music 1001 1995
Git It, Beau Jocque! Rounder CD 2134 1995
Gonna Take You Downtown Rounder CD 2150 1996
Check It Out, Lock It In, Crank It Up! Rounder 11661-2158-2 1998
Zydeco Giant Mardi Gras Records MG 1043 1999
I'm Coming Home Mardi Gras 1046 2000
Give Him Cornbread, Live! Rounder 11661-2160-2 2000

Singles and EPs

Song title(s) Album title Record label Stock number Release year Note(s)
"Pop That Coochie" / "My Name Is Beau Jocque" My Name Is Beau Jocque Paula Records 461 <unknown> 7", 45 RPM
"Don't Sell That Monkey" / "Maria" (performed by Roy Carrier) <unknown> Paula P-463 <unknown> 7", 45 RPM
"Make It Stank (Special Aromatic Dance Mix)" / "Make It Stank (Special Aromatic Dance Mix with Spoken Intro)" Gonna Take You Downtown Rounder PR 1077 <unknown> 12", 33 1/3 RPM, Promotional single

Various artist compilation albums

Album title Record label Stock number Release year Song title(s)
Feet: A Global Dance Party Ellipsis Arts CD 1010 1993 (reissued in 2004) "Give Him Cornbread"
Roundup The Unusual Suspects: The Roundup Records CD Sampler, Summer 1994 Rounder RUP-1 1994 "Don't Tell Your Mama, Don't Tell Your Papa"
WWOZ on CD Friends of WWOZ <unknown> 1994 "Beau's Mardi Gras"
Alligator Stomp: Cajun & Zydeco, The Next Generation, Vol. 5 Rhino R2 71846 1995 "Give Him Cornbread"
The Lanor Records Story, 1960-1992 Zane Records (UK) ZNCD 1009 1995 "My Name Is Beau Jocque"
Louisiana Spice: 25 Years of Louisiana Music on Rounder Records Rounder CD AN 18/19 1995 "Give Him Cornbread"
The Real Music Box: 25 Years of Rounder Records Rounder CD AN 25 1995 "Give Him Cornbread"
The Royal Family of Zydeco Rock 'n Bowl (Rounder Records) CD 1001 1995 "Give Him Cornbread"
"Brownskin Woman"
"Beau Jocque Boogie"
Young Zydeco Desperadoes: Black Creole Sounds of Today Trikont (Germany) US - 0204 1995 "Give Him Cornbread"
"Ma Brunette"
"Beau Jocque Shuffle"
All Over The Map Rounder CD AN 26 1996 "Nonc Adam"
Bayou Dance Party EasyDisc ED CD 7014 1996 "Richard's Club"
Planet Music Sampler: Vol. 7 Louisiana Fest Planet Music <unknown> 1996 "Git It, Beau Jocque"
The Real Louisiana EasyDisc ED 9002 1996 "Nonc Adam"
Roll Up The Rug: Triple Swing Time, volume 2 Living Traditions Music <unknown> 1996 <unknown>
The Very Best of Cajun Dino Entertainment (UK) DINCD 127 1996 "My Name Is Beau Jocque"
Zydeco's Greatest Hits EasyDisc ED CD 7025 1996 "Give Him Cornbread"
Bayou Beat EasyDisc EDCD 7053 1997 "Beau's Cajun Two Step"
CMJ New Music Monthly, Volume 41 January 1997 College Music Journal <unknown> 1997 "Gonna Take You Down"
Discover the Rhythms of Cajun/Zydeco EMI LC0542 1997 "Brownskin Woman"
Hey Mardi Gras! EasyDisc ED CD 7015 1997 "Beau's Mardi Gras"
Rounder Essentials: A Baker's Dozen Rounder CD 9902 1997 "Give Him Cornbread"
Southern Gumbo: The Best of New Orleans R&B, Soul and Zydeco on Rounder Records Rounder (German release) BR1 1997 "Make It Stank"
Zydeco Dance Hall EasyDisc ED CD 7035 1997 "Git It, Beau Jocque!"
"Couché Dehors Ce Soir"
Cajun & Zydeco Festival EasyDisc ED CD 7067 1998 "A Little Love Always Make it Bettah"
Crescent City Songbook Rounder VS-1 1998 "Gonna Take You Downtown"
Mardi Gras Time EasyDisc CD 9004 1998 "Mardi Gras Blues"
Zydeco Barnyard EasyDisc 12136-7070-2 1998 "Shaggy Dog 2-Step"
Zydeco Fever!: A Sizzling Hot Louisiana Combo of Cajun and R&B Nascente (UK) NSCD 029 1998 "Make It Stank (Aromatic Dance Mix)"
"Baby Please Don't Go"
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
Zydeco Party EasyDisc ED CD 7045 1998 "Comin' In"
Zydeco Stomp: All Instrumental Rounder ED CD 7065 1998 "Kinder 2-Step"
Allons en Louisiane Rounder 11161-60993-2 1999 "Going To The Country"
Cajun & Zydeco Jamboree EasyDisc ED 12136-7076-2 1999 "Just One Kiss"
Cajun Heat Zydeco Beat EasyDisc ED 1213670772 1999 <unknown>
Gaga for Ya-Ya: Zydeco Madness Winter & Winter (Germany) 910 041-2 1999 "Tequila"
"Come Go With Me"
Let's Party, It's Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras Records JS 1305 1999 "The Second Line/The Back Door"
The Oxford American Southern Sampler: 1999 Oxford American <unknown> 1999 "Don't Tell Your Mama, Don't Tell Your Papa"
WWOZ on CD: Roll Wid It! Friends of WWOZ <unknown> 1999 "Get It Beau Jocque"
Zydeco Essentials Hip-O Records 767 440161 2 1999 "Low Rider"
Absolutely The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco, vol. II Fuel 2000 ; Varèse Sarabande 302 061 114 2 2000 "Ma Brunette"
Putumayo Presents Zydeco Putumayo World Music PUTU 160-2 2000 "What You Gonna Do?"
Super Mardi Gras Mardi Gras Records MG1045 2000 "The Second Line/The Back Door"
Authentic Zydeco Music: From Southwest Louisiana Jose Suescun Music Distribution JS 1318 2001 "My Name Is Beau Jocque"
"When You Think About Me"
"Grand Marais Two-Step"
"Beau Jocque Two-Step"
Mardi Gras in New Orleans Rounder 1166-11600-2 2001 "Beau's Mardi Gras"
Roots Music: An American Journey Rounder 11661-0501-2 2001 "Just One Kiss"
Ultimate Zydeco Mardi Gras Records MG 1056 2001 "Pine Point Trail Ride"
"No Good Woman"
Au Revoir Mambito Records MR003 2002 <unknown>
Louisiana: The Rough Guide to the Music of Louisiana World Music Network (UK) RGNET 1094 CD 2002 "Mardi Gras Blues"
Louisiana Legends Collection Mambito MR004 2002 "I'm A Lonely Boy"
The Louisiana Party Collection: Cajun & Zydeco Classics Time-Life Music M18851 2002 "Give Him Cornbread"
The Louisiana Party Collection: 30 Cajun & Zydeco Classics Time-Life Music R154-36 2002 "Give Him Cornbread"
Zydecajun Instrumentals Mambito MR001 2002 <unknown>
Zydeco: The Essential Collection Rounder 1166-11605-2 2002 "I'm On The Wonder"
"Give Him Cornbread"
American Routes with Nick Spitzer: Carnival Public Radio International AR 03-09 2003 "Mardi Gras Blues"
Boozoo Hoodoo!: The Songs of Boozoo Chavis Fuel 2000 302 061 278-2 2003 "Boogie Woogie All Night"
Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol' Box of New Orleans Shout! Factory D4K 37441 2004 "Give Him Cornbread"
Best of Louisiana Music! Mardi Gras Records MG 5102 2005 "Morning Train"
Rough Guide to Zydeco World Music Network (UK) RGNET 1145 CD 2005 "Boogie Chillun"
Down South Party Mix Mardi Gras Records MG 1092 2006 "I'm A Girl Watcher"
New Orleans: Rebuild, Restore, Rejoice Mardi Gras Records MG 5104 2006 "I'm A Girl Watcher"
Rough Guide to Zydeco: Allons Danser! Creole Accordions Dance World Music Network (UK) RGNET 1145 CD 2006 <unknown>
Putumayo World Party Putumayo World Music PUTU 263-2 2007 "Just One Kiss"
The Essential Guide to Cajun Music Play It Again Sam 6891316025 2008 "Baby Please Don't Go"
"Give Him Cornbread"
Absolutely The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco, vol. 3 Fuel 2000 302 061 778 2 2009 "Boogie Woogie All Nite Long"
The Rounder Records Story Rounder 11661-3295-2 2010 "Give Him Cornbread"
The Heart, The Soul, The Spirit Larrikin Entertainment (Australia) <unknown> <unknown> "Give Him Cornbread"


  • Louisiana Blues (directed by Jean-Pierre Bruneau, 1993); Beau Jocque appears as himself in a film history of Cajun and Zydeco music.[4]
  • The Kingdom of Zydeco (directed by Robert Mugge, 1994); Beau Jocque and Boozoo Chavis appear in this documentary which features their friendly rivalry while both were seeking to earn the title "King of Zydeco" following the deaths of Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Dopsie.[5]


  1. ^ "Jocque, Beau". Library of Congress. October 7, 2017. Retrieved 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c Pareles, Jon (13 September 1999). "Beau Jocque, 45, Musician Whose Band Updated Zydeco". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Billington, Scott (22 April 2015). "Beau Jocque: The Funkiest Band in the Land". Zydeco Crossroads. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "Louisiana Blues (1993)". Retrieved 2018. 
  5. ^ "The Kingdom of Zydeco (1994)". Retrieved 2018. 

External links

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