If you're looking for something different from Buckwheat Zydeco, "Jackpot!" pays off big at the very end. That's when accordionist and Grammy winner Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr. rekindles his love affair with the Hammond B-3 organ during an extended three-track coda that pays homage, directly and indirectly, to the late great Hammond B-3 master Jimmy Smith.
Dubbed "Organic Buckwheat," the 18-minute mini-suite celebrates more than just Smith's strong influence on Buckwheat Zydeco's frontman, though. It's also a reminder of Dural's organ-grinding stint with zydeco king Clifton Chenier back in the '70s, completing a career circle, and concludes with the Bob Marley-inspired reggae peace anthem "Buck's Going to Trenchtown."
Otherwise, "Jackpot!" is mostly business as usual, albeit exuberant business. An accordion-driven party starter, it boasts love songs laced with soul harmonies ("It Must Be Magic" and "Come Back Home Baby,"), zydeco dance hall detonations ("Rock, Boogie, Shout"), brass- and blues-tinted grooves ("You Lookin' for Me?") and an engaging Creole two-step throwback ("Old Time La La").
In the eight years since the band's last release, Dural has composed a lot of songs. But most of the new tunes here come across as surefire concert staples -- sounding tried, true and road-tested. The bandleader is in fine form throughout, singing and playing with customary spirit, aided by his group's syncopated thrust and guest vocalist Catherine Russell.
-- Mike Joyce
Appearing Saturday at the Birchmere.