American musician, singer and two-time Grammy nominee Sean Ardoin has a new album out on Zydekool Records. It’s titled Came thru Pullin’. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.
According to his official website and other sources, Louisiana-native is a descendant of Amédé Ardoin, the Father of Zydeco, whose work laid the groundwork for Creole and Cajun music. Sean is also a descendant of musician Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin. His father is musician Lawrence “Black” Ardoin. His younger brother is hip-hop zydeco accordionist Chris Ardoin.
Ardoin was co-leader of the critically acclaimed Zydeco group Double Clutchin’. He launched his solo career in 1999. His resume includes 16 earlier releases as a band member and/or solo artist.
Ardoin’s live work is highlighted by performances at Carnegie Hall, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. His television appearances include segments on BET, Bravo, Oprah’s OWN network, CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans” and more recently “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” His music has been featured in commercials, TV, and motion pictures. Ardoin’s most recent non-album single is this year’s beautiful, controversial piano-driven piece “What Do You See.”
Sean Ardoin’s signature sound is a musical mix of Creole, Zydeco, rock, and soul. He blends modern sounds with classic Zydeco. (Some say he created a new sub-genre with his previous platter, 2018’s Kreole Rock and Soul.)
Came thru Pullin’
Previously released as Ven, this disc includes 10 tracks. It has a running time of over 37 minutes. On it, Ardoin leads the way on accordion and vocals.
He is assisted by other artists including Linden Smith (scrubboard), Savar Martin (drums), Bryan Malbroux (bass), Zane Gibson (keyboard, piano, and organ), Sean Ardoin II (background vocals, rap, and programming), and Corey Stoot, Andre Thierry, and Trey Ardoin (guitar).
Track by Track
The album opener is “Came Thru Pullin’.” It’s a great intro because it’s energetic. Perhaps just as important, Ardoin sounds like he is having a good time.
The next number is the bouncy “Bounce.” Ardoin is true to his musical roots but is not afraid to add his own enjoyable performance perspective to his music. This will have your toes tappin’ for sure.
“No That Ain’t Right” is ironically titled since this track actually could not be more right. Ardoin’s musical direction is already quite clear.
“Get Right Girl” follows. It includes some interesting production elements that give the song its own distinctive identity. It’s great how Ardoin can take subjects such as flawed personalities and relationships and work them into upbeat tunes.
“I’m Not Gonna Wait” remains true to the artist’s overall signature sound yet retains its own individualistic elements that keep one listening.
“Gumbo Time” is another standout track. It is the most obvious example of his combining the classic with the contemporary. It’s highlighted by guest artists Bryson “New Cupid” Bernard and Shawn “Uncle Luck” Bernard.
“It’s Love” might be a bit overshadowed by the previous piece but nonetheless it is college radio-ready.
“Kool Rolling” is another one of those tracks where the listener can practically hear everyone having fun. It’s got a great modern-day touch and just plain rocks.
Also included here is “Nothing Like Our Love.” Initially, you will perhaps think you knew this one was coming. Ah, but Ardoin works hard to make sure it’s not really what you thought was coming after all.
The album endnote is “Shut Them Down.” It’s a fitting closing cut. Mind you, many might say comes all too soon as Ardoin and company once more give it all they’ve got.
Overall . . .
Overall, this album offers a unique take on music genres that harkens back decades. Ardoin adds new life to classic, traditional sounds while still remaining true to the spirit of the music and without crossing any lines. It is his willingness to take chances that allow him to create cuts that have their own entertaining identities.
It’s fun music. As Ardoin noted in a recent email: “I want Came Thru Pullin’ to be a fountain of happiness that gets you moving in this time of stagnation. Press play with caution ’cause it will destroy a bad day!” So be sure to check out Sean Ardoin’s Came thru Pullin’ before you “Bounce”!