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Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole at the Clearwater Festival 2012


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Desiree Champagne Plays Rubboard
Desiree Champagne Plays Frottoir

Desiree Champagne Plays Frottoir

(c) Megan Romer, 2012 / Licensed to About.com
Desiree Champagne, of Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole, is shown here singing harmony vocals and playing a rubboard, a crucial percussion element in Creole and zydeco music. Technically speaking, the instrument she's playing is called a frottoir, and it was designed by the King of Zydeco himself, Mr. Clifton Chenier, and his friend, metalworker Willy Landry. This vest style of frottoir is almost universally seen among modern zydeco bands, but before its invention, a standard laundry washboard would've been commonly used as a percussion instrument.

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