There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Lil’ Pookie and the Zydeco Sensations have yet to gain the crossover credibility and larger audiences that come with being labeled as Americana music, but this Opelousas, La., outfit deserves attention for a singular homegrown sound that blends traditional zydeco beats, R&B, and hip-hop. Born Jimmy Seraile, the artist now known as Lil’ Pookie was a prodigy, winning a zydeco accordion contest at age 12. Learning from his grandfather, the late bandleader Delton Broussard, Pookie was soon playing drums, rubboard, and accordion in several bands. Currently, as a bandleader trying to keep dancers happy, this Gulf Coast jack-of-all-trades works the high-pitched squeezebox in syncopated tandem with his funky rhythm section and scratchy rubboard players. On an earlier effort, Pookie soulfully borrows from Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and he raps in speedy couplets on “I’m Not a Hater” from his most recent album Just Want to Be Me. In town for Saturday’s Dancing by the Bayou festival, Pookie and his Sensations will have a stage for themselves on Sunday to present some more of their regional grooves. Lil’ Pookie and the Zydeco Sensations perform at 2 p.m. at the College Park American Legion, 9218 Baltimore Ave., College Park. $18. (301) 441-2783. dancingbythebayou.com.