Cedric Watson has often seemed like a very serious young man. His music has explored the Creole roots of Cajun and zydeco music, drawing on African music and music from the Caribbean in the process.
Some of his sets with his band, Bijou Creole, have taken on a bookish tint, but not Thursday on Jazz Fest's Fais-Do-Do Stage. Today, Watson was spirited and loose.
"This is one of those 1800s pop chart hits," he joked as he introduced his version of the folk song "Bo Weevil."
Then and throughout the set, island rhythms added a wobbly hip-shake to his take on zydeco. His "Lazy John" resembled Jamaican ska more than Clifton Chenier.
His own looseness suited his sound, and when he finished with a shout-out to zydeco great Boozoo Chavis, he held his accordion over his head and bent the billows around his head. Not the traditional thing to do, but it was a moment of unstudied fun.