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Charlie Kuchler’s new Zydeco band Zydegatorz playing at Moose Lodge Jan. 30

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Jan 20, 2021


On Saturday, Jan. 30, from 2-5 p.m., the Pine Island Moose Lodge  is hosting a Zydeco Dance Party featuring The Zydegatorz. Admission is free and it will be open to the public. 

“If you like to dance or just tap your foot, you should come out for the only Zydeco band in our area,” said Charlie Kuchler. “Either way you won’t be able to sit still while the band is playing.”

Kuchler, also known as Yard Dog Charlie, has started a new Zydeco band, called the Zydegatorz.

Kuchler describes Zydeco music as a mix of blues, country, and rock ‘n’ roll.

“Zydeco is definitely more up-tempo.”

According to Kuchler, Zydeco music is a genre that evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers, featuring music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native American people of Louisiana.

“You’ll hear the sounds of Bourbon Street, the Louisiana low country and a little Florida Swamp Music,” said Kuchler. “It will take place outside on the big stage and people are invited to bring their own lawn chairs. The band is planning on shooting a video so bring your dancing partner and dancing shoes.”

The band, he said, is made up of seasoned veterans, having played all over the country before they came together this past summer to form the Zydegatorz.

Kuchler is uniquely qualified for the Creole sound, being the only accordion player for miles around.

“With the pandemic, this was the worst time in the world to try to come together and start a band,” said Kuchler. “A lot of places aren’t using live music at all, or full bands.” This is not the band’s debut, according to Kuchler. Since the Zydegatorz have been together, they’ve played in Fort Myers, thoroughly enjoying the “dive-bar” atmosphere. With social distancing, Kuchler said it’s great that the show will be outside in the tropical setting, but that inside or out, the show will go on.

“This will be a lot of fun,” said Kuchler. “Were an authentic Zydeco band, with a lot of songs that you’ll recognize even though we do them in our own style. Bring a dancing partner and you can even dance in your seat.”

The Pine Island Moose Lodge is located at 8903 Stringfellow Road in St. James City. For additional information about the lodge or its activities, please call 239-282-0453.