Step Rideau and The Zydeco Outlaws
Stephen Joseph Rideau “Step” was born in 1966 in the little St. Landry Parish town of LeBeau , Louisiana. Surrounded by Creole culture and zydeco music from infancy, it wasn’t until relocating to Houston in the mid-1980’s that he began to play the accordion and eventually formed his own band. Today, Step Rideau is widely acknowledged worldwide as one of the living masters of the instrument. He’s also established himself over the the pass two decades, the course of multiple recordings and festival appearances nationwide, as one of the most prolific and passionate zydeco recording artists, songwriters, and live performers across the globe.
Part of Rideau’s appeal is that he brings a true singer’s sensibility to zydeco, not just shouting out the lyrics but soulfully engaging with them to articulate the song, both in English and in Creole French. In that respect, he’s served well by his band of Outlaws, who provide not only fine instrumental accompaniment but also unusually rich and melodious backing vocal harmonies, especially in the case of long-time drummer , Jean-Paul Jolivette.
Collectively, these players make music that respects the art of the human voice in as much as it respects the driving rhythms, funky beats, and accordion riffs that make zydeco perhaps the ultimate dance soundtrack for people everywhere.