Practicing up for the Cotati Accordion Festival, which is straight ahead in August?
If you're a fan of bellows and wheeze, we bet you're pressing the keys as you read this. Cotati happens to be one of the best-known accordion fests on the planet, and definitely the premiere California gathering, but there is a fine place to head for a little zydeco ahead of the August accordion love-in.
Make that a lot of zydeco. We speak, of course, of the Long Beach Bayou & Blues Festival, which ships a little New Orleans straight into the heart of the LBC on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23.
We say "of course" because it is a party known far, wide, and a little past wide, and definitely if you're a fan of bayou-type tunes. It has had a quarter century, plus a couple of years, to stake its lively spirited claim of being "one of the best New Orleans parties that isn't in New Orleans."
What to do, where to go and what to see
This is helped by the roster of performers. Pine Leaf Boys, Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers, Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots, and, yep, Peter Tork and the Shoe Suede Blues will be on the Rainbow Lagoon Park stage.
Let's just put this out here now, in case you want to prepare the right clothes and shoes: People dance. Don't wonder, "Will people dance at this thing, what with the hot zydeco?"
They will, and if you want to as well, this is your scene.
Also part of the scene? Dance instruction, crawfish-eating contest, and a mardi gras parade. Chances are solid you'll enjoy a beignet and/or po'boy during the weekend, too.
A ticket is thirty bucks at the gate. You went and found your dancing shoes when we suggested you do so? Good. You'll be glad.