Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
One of zydeco's most versatile performers, Lynn August spiked his native southwestern Louisiana sound with elements of pop, gospel and R&B. Born in Lafayette on August 7, 1948, the blind August was encouraged by his mother to pursue a career in music, and he was raised on a steady diet of zydeco, New Orleans rhythm and blues and swamp-pop. After learning to play drums on an old wash basin, at the age of 12 he was recruited to play percussion with the legendary Esquerita, who convinced him to also take up the piano; a few years later, August made the switch to the Hammond B-3 organ as well. During the mid-1960s, he played with a young Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, later mounting a solo career as well as sitting in with a variety of local swamp-pop combos; he also led a big band, and even directed a church choir. In 1988, August turned to the accordion and began his zydeco career in earnest; forming the Hot August Knights with tenor saxophonist John Hart, he also studied field recordings made in 1934 by archivist Alan Lomax to absorb the original Creole style of "jure" singing into his own contemporary aesthetic. After signing to the Maison de Soul label, August debuted with It's Party Time, followed in 1989 by Zydeco Groove; a move to Black Top heralded the release of 1992's Creole Cruiser, with the acclaimed Sauce Piquante appearing a year later.