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music: Let the Bontemps Roule

Like many Zydeco performers, Frank started playing when he was a toddler, learning the drums at age 4 and the accordion at 6. By 9, he was the regular drummer in his dad's band. Frank recalls his father taught him some basics, but it was up to him to take music seriously.

"My dad showed me some techniques and pretty much it was a free-for-all after that," the soft-spoken Frank said during a recent phone call from his home in Soileau, La. He explained that this left him free to interpret music personally. Frank's recent interpretations often include an injection of soul or rap influences that do not go down easily with traditionalists, but he is not concerned. "Everybody hears it differently and this let me develop my own signature."

Frank recently returned from his first European trip where he played well-received shows in the Netherlands. To hear him tell it, he and the band sold a lot of products and maybe learned some lessons about packing a suitcase for their current trip north.

"I ran out of everything you need: CDs, pictures, everything. I even ran out of underwear," Frank said with a deadpan wink in his voice.

Whatever Frank winds up bringing with him to the Deli show, it will come in the company of a strong performance by one of the most popular acts on the current Zydeco scene. — Ames Arnold

Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band play the Boulevard Deli, 5218 W. Broad St., Wednesday, July 17. Zydeco dance lessons start at 7 p.m. The show is at 8 p.m. Cover is $8. Call 282-9333 for information.

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