Nathan Williams (Zydeco)
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Nathan Williams Zydeco
Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams 2009.jpg
Williams performing at the Thirsty Ear Festival Santa Fe, NM in 2009
Background information
Nathan Williams
Born (1963-03-24) March 24, 1963 (age 55)
St. Martinville, Louisiana, United States
GenresZydeco, Blues
InstrumentsAccordion, singer
LabelsRounder, Cha Cha Records
Clifton Chenier, Fernest Arceneaux, Rosie Ledet

Nathan Williams (born March 24, 1963) is an American Zydeco accordionist and singer.

Williams grew up in a Creole-speaking home in St. Martinville, Louisiana, the youngest of seven children. Times were hard for the Williams family and Williams lost his father when he was only seven years old.[1] He developed his musical sensibility in his hometown, a place rich in folk tradition, following in the footsteps of his uncle, the Cajun guitarist Harry Hypolite. Nathan eagerly sought out the music of Zydeco originators such as Clifton Chenier. When he was too young to attend a Chenier dance at a St. Martinville club, he hovered by the window-sized fan at the back of the building to hear his idol, only to have the bill of his baseball cap clipped off by the fan when he leaned too close.[2]

Williams moved to Lafayette, Louisiana to live with his older brother Sid and his wife. He worked in Sid's grocery store. Later, while recovering from a serious illness, Nathan decided to dedicate himself to learning the accordion. He began practicing in the bathroom because he did not want anyone to hear him play. His main mentor was Buckwheat Zydeco, although his biggest influence was Clifton Chenier.[3]

Just five years after graduating from high school, Williams was recording 45s on his brother's El Sid independent record label.[1] He set up a club in Lafayette, which became a center of fashion.

In 1988 Williams performed for the first time at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, after which he got his lucky break. Buckwheat Zydeco had left Rounder Records for Island Records, leaving Rounder in need of an accordionist to fill a spot on a project they had lined up. Buckwheat Zydeco suggested Williams for the position, and he auditioned and got the recording contract. Later he formed his band, Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha-Chas, with which he plays to this day.[4]

Nathan Williams.


Studio and live albums

Album title Record label Stock number Release year
Zydeco Live!: Direct From Richard's Club, Lawtell, Louisiana (with Boozoo Chavis) Rounder CD 2069 1989
Steady Rock Rounder CD 2092 1989
Your Mama Don't Know Rounder CD 2107 1991
Follow Me Chicken Rounder CD 2122 1993
Creole Crossroads (featuring Michael Doucet) Rounder CD 2137 1995
I'm A Zydeco Hog: Live at the Rock 'N' Bowl, New Orleans Rounder CD 2143 1997
Let's Go Rounder 11661-2159-2 2000
Hang It High, Hang It Low Rounder 11661-2164-2 2006
Live at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival MunckMix <unknown> 2011
Live at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival MunckMix <unknown> 2012
Live at the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival MunckMix <unknown> 2013
A New Road Cha Cha Records CCR-0005 2013


Song title(s) Album title Record label Stock number Release year Note(s)
"If You Got A Problem" / "Tonight's The Night" (performed by Sara Dow) Steady Rock / <unknown> Maison de Soul 45-1054 1989? 7", 45 RPM
"I Got The Zydeco Blues (Down In My Shoes)" / "Everybody Calls Me Crazy (But My Name Is Nathan Williams" <unknown> El Sid O's Records ES-100 <unknown> 7", 45 RPM
"Bye Bye My Little Moma" / "Louisiana Waltz" <unknown> El Sid O's Records ES-101 <unknown> 7", 45 RPM

Various artist compilation albums

Album title Record label Stock number Release year Song title(s)
101 Proof Zydeco Maison de Soul MDS 1030 1990 "If You Got a Problem"
Mardi Gras Party Rounder CD-11567 1991 "Mardi Gras Zydeco"
Alligator Stomp: Cajun & Zydeco Classics, Vol. 3 Rhino R2 70312 1992 "El Sid O's Zydeco Boogaloo"
Cajun Music and Zydeco Rounder CD 11572 1992 "Slow Horses and Fast Women"
Stomp Down Zydeco Rounder CD 11566 1992 "You're My Mule"
"Everything On The Hog"
Zydeco Party K-Tel International 60592 1992 "Your Mama Don't Know"
The Best of Louisiana Music Rounder CD AN 08 1993 "Your Mama Don't Know"
Alligator Stomp: Cajun & Zydeco, The Next Generation, Vol. 5 Rhino R2 71846 1995 "Zydeco Road"
Louisiana Spice: 25 Years of Louisiana Music on Rounder Records Rounder CD AN 18/19 1995 "Outside People"
More Cajun Music and Zydeco Rounder CD 11573 1995 "Follow Me, Chicken"
The Real Music Box: 25 Years of Rounder Records Rounder CD AN 25 1995 "Outside People"
The Rounder Christmas Album: Must Be Santa! Rounder 3118 1995 "I Don't Want You Just for Christmas"
The Royal Family of Zydeco Rock 'n Bowl (Rounder Records) CD 1001 1995 "Your Mama Don't Know"
"Follow Me Chicken"
"Zydeco Road"
Bayou Dance Party Rounder CD 7014 1996 "Outside People"
The Real Louisiana EasyDisc ED 9002 1996 "Slow Horses and Fast Women"
Zydeco's Greatest Hits EasyDisc ED CD 7025 1996 "Your Mama Don't Know"
"Follow Me Chicken"
Bayou Beat EasyDisc EDCD 7053 1997 "El Sid O's Zydeco Boogaloo"
Hey Mardi Gras! EasyDisc 7015 1997 "Mardi Gras Zydeco"
Mardi Gras Party Time! K-Tel International 3680 1997 "Zydeco Road"
Southern Gumbo: The Best of New Orleans R&B, Soul and Zydeco on Rounder Records Rounder (UK release) BR1 1997 "Hey Yie Yie" (feat. Michael Doucet)
Cajun & Zydeco Festival EasyDisc ED CD 7067 1998 "Zydeco Road"
Rough Guide to Cajun and Zydeco World Music Network (UK) RGNET 1028 CD 1998 "Slow Horses and Fast Women"
Zydeco Barnyard EasyDisc 367070 1998 "Everything on the Hog"
"You're My Mule"
"Zydeco Hog"
Zydeco Fever! Nascente (UK) NSCD 029 1998 "Black Gal"
Zydeco Party EasyDisc ED CD 7045 1998 "Festival Zydeco"
Zydeco Stomp: All Instrumental Rounder ED CD 7065 1998 "El Sid O's Zydeco Boogaloo"
Allons en Louisiane Rounder 11161-60993-2 1999 "Hey Bébé"
Cajun Heat Zydeco Beat EasyDisc 367077 1999 "Zydeco Hog"
Discover the Rhythms of Cajun/Zydeco Drum 8568272 2000 "Alligator"
Louisiana Music Sampler Putumayo World Music PUT932-5 2000 "I'm In Love"
Music from the Zydeco Kingdom Rounder Select 11579 2000 "Everything on the Hog"
Putumayo Presents Zydeco Putumayo World Music PUTU 160-2 2000 "I'm In Love"
Cajun & Zydeco: Alligator Walk ARC Music EUCD 1657 2001 "Everybody Got To Cry"
The Louisiana Party Collection: 30 Cajun & Zydeco Classics Time-Life Music R154-36 2002 "Your Mama Don't Know"
The Rough Guide to the Music of Louisiana World Music Network (UK) RGNET 1094 CD 2002 "Black Snake Blues / I Can't Go Home No More" (feat. Michael Doucet)
Zydeco: The Essential Collection Rounder 1166-11605-2 2002 "Let's Go"
"Outside People"
The Louisiana Party Collection: Cajun & Zydeco Classics Time-Life Music M18851S 2003 "Your Mama Don't Know"
The Rough Guides: American Roots Box World Music Network RGBOX 3 2003 "Slow Horses and Fast Women"
Creole Bred: A Tribute to Creole & Zydeco Vanguard 79741-2 2004 "Zydeco Two-Step"
"I'm Coming Home" (with Keith Frank, Rosie Ledet, and Sean Ardoin)
Rough Guide to Zydeco World Music Network (UK) RGNET 1145 CD 2005 "Hard To Love Someone"
Experience Louisiana Music 2006 OffBeat Magazine OB06-11001 2006 "Old Man's Darling"
Red Hot: Louisiana Barbeque Party Mix Somerset Entertainment 35637 2006 "Let's Go"
"Zydeco Road"
"El Sid O's Party"
"Your Mama Don't Know"
"Slow Horses and Fast Women"
"Outside People"
"Everything Happens For the Best"
"Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa"
"Mardi Gras Zydeco"
"El Sid O's Zydeco Boogaloo"
Songlines: Top of the World 38 Songlines (UK) STWD14 2006 "Zydeco Cha Cha"
TFF Rudolstadt 2007 Heideck (Germany) HD20075 2007 "Tante Rosa"
Rounder Records 40th Anniversary Concert Rounder 11661-3277-2 2010 "Outside People"
"Think About the Good Times"
The Music of Louisiana: The Oxford American Southern Music Issue No. 14 Oxford American <unknown> 2012 "Old Man's Darling"
The Heart, The Soul, The Spirit Larrikin Entertainment (Australia) <unknown> <unknown> "Follow Me Chicken"


  1. ^ a b "Artist Biography by Larry Belanger". Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas Biography". Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ Sandmel, Ben: Steady Rock liner-notes, PDI-Rounder, VLP-437, 1989
  4. ^ This article incorporates information from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia

External links

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