Get CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band songs and albums from:
CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band Biography
C. J. Chenier (born Clayton Joseph Thompson September 28, 1957, Port Arthur, Texas), is the Creole son of the Grammy Award winning "King of Zydeco", Louisiana musician, Clifton Chenier. In 1987, Chenier followed in his father's footsteps, and led his father's band as an accordion performer of Zydeco, a blend of Cajun and Creole music. With five previous albums to his credit, by 1994, Chenier began to record on his father's Alligator label.
Chenier grew up away from his father in the 1960s, in the housing projects of his native Port Arthur, Texas. There, Chenier was aware of, but not exposed to his father's music as a young child, and had not heard the word Zydeco until later in his youth. Instead, Chenier developed tastes in the 1970s soul, funk and jazz music of James Brown, Funkadelic, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
Upon first listening to his father's music, Chenier thought all the songs sounded the same. But he eventually began to appreciate and master the zydeco style, as he later joined and then took over his father's band and career. The first instrument Chenier learned to play was the saxophone. As a teenager in the early 1970s he played in black Top 40 bands in Port Arthur. By the mid 1970s Chenier went to college to study music.
In 1978 his father invited Chenier to play his saxophone with The Red Hot Louisiana Band, whose members also included his Uncle, Cleveland Chenier, on washboard. By 1985, as his father was growing ill from diabetes, he invited Chenier to start playing the accordion in a larger role with the band, and to open the shows.