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Williams, Nathan

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Zydeco Musician

Born in 1963 in Lafayette, Zydeco accordionist and vocalist Nathan Williams stands out among southwest Louisiana's young Zydeco musicians. Known for his talent for composing songs like "Everything on a Hog" and "Ain't Nobody Gonna Help You," Nathan is one of the better young piano accordion players performing today.

The son of Florita and Sidney Williams, he is also the brother of Sidney Williams. Sidney is the owner of El Sido's, a well known Zydeco club in Lafayette. Nathan says that he was inspired to play the accordion by Stanley "Buckwheat Zydeco" Dural, who taught him to play at El Sido's.

Nathan and "the Zydeco Cha-Chas" combine elements of rural and urban Zydeco, with a repertoire that draws equally on English and French songs. They have recorded several successful albums. A highly acclaimed 1995 release on Rounder Records, titled "Creole Crossroads," paired Nathan Williams and "the Zydeco Cha-Chas" with Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet of "Beausoleil" for a rare cross-cultural perspective.

With his band, Nathan Williams has performed throughout the United States and abroad. They remain a popular draw at home in southwest Louisiana, at El Sido's, other clubs, and festivals like the Plaisance Zydeco Festival, Festivals Acadiens, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

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Photograph courtesy of The Rounder Records Group. Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas are available on Rounder 212