Two-time Grammy-nominated Dwayne Dopsie and The Zydeco Hellraisers have had a clean sweep in zydeco awards season. So far in 2023, he won OffBeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Zydeco, and Gambit Weekly’s Big Easy Award for Best Zydeco. He’s also a featured performer in Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story, 2023 Grammy winner for Best Music Movie.
In the Grammy lead-up, Dopsie appeared at South by Southwest to promote Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story, and had the audience dancing in the aisles with a solo accordion performance. The Jimmy Buffet/Quint Davis-produced movie is now streaming on Spectrum On Demand.
His infectious rhythm and performance style has earned him such titles as the “Jimi Hendrix of accordion” by Rolling Stone. He shared in a 2021 ABS interview, “Basically I’m playing accordion like a guitar. I’m not like playing how most people would really play it.” It makes sense that he plays this way, because his biggest inspirations are guitarists such as Muddy Waters, BB King, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, T-Bone Walker, and Lightnin’ Hopkins.
Dwayne was nine years old when he performed on The Dolly Parton Show. And at just 16, he quit school to carry the torch of his father’s legacy. “Music has given me everything,” he expresses gratefully. “I just praise my father’s music and keep it going.” Dwayne is the youngest son of zydeco trailblazer Alton Jay Rubin, known the world over as Rockin’ Dopsie.
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers critically acclaimed album Set Me Free is available through Louisiana Red Hot Records on all streaming platforms, and in record stores nationwide. Fans can catch him at this year’s Jazz Fest, carrying on the tradition.