Southeast Texas: Hothouse of Zydeco
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The neighboring states of Texas and Louisiana share much history and culture, yet in popular consciousness they often seem to be drastically different places. Media-perpetuated stereotypes—such as the Lone Star cowboy riding the open prairie or the savvy Creole paddling through the swamp—are obviously not entirely representative, past or present. Yet they persist, and such public images surely do affect perceptions, the ways others see us and the ways we see ourselves. In truth, however, there are prairies and cowboys in Louisiana as well as swamps and Creoles in southeast Texas. Indeed, the landscape and the people along one side of the Sabine River often have much in common with those along the other. And interchange across that waterway has occurred since the days of the earliest settlements. But the Texas heritage of one of its most fascinating musical results remains largely unrecognized today.