APRIL 12

While younger zydeco musicians were busy incorporating hiphop and rock into their syncopations, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas stuck with the basics on last year’s Creole Crossroads, flavoring their zesty grooves with Cajun and blues elements. Aided on that disc by BeauSoleil fiddle player Michael Doucet, 10-year music veteran Nathan Williams filled out a set of originals with several traditional tunes, a Z.Z. Hill cover, and three numbers from original zydeco king Clifton Chenier. Whether lending his southwestern Louisiana drawl and piano-accordion work to French-language waltzes, soulful ballads, or rocking two-steppers, Williams proved that adhering to his roots didn’t mean he was ready for the wax museum. Although Williams’ rhythm section has changed over the years, his hooky choruses and swinging low end remain as striking as when I first heard the band in a New Orleans restaurant years ago. The evening starts with a beginners’ dance workshop at 8 p.m. at Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. $10. (301) 309-0895. (Steve Kiviat)