The Zydeco Boneshakers are a seven-member group comprised predominantly of Louisiana natives. (Only one member, bass player Pernell Babineaux, hails from Houston, TX.) Five of the Boneshakers were born in Louisiana's Lake Charles region: vocalist and guitarist Cornelius Guidry, vocalist and accordion player Miss Ann Goodly, scrub board player Derrick J. Guidry, drummer Gerald Dunaway, and Joe Orset, who contributes vocals, vocoder, and keyboards. Vocalist Samantha Pocarello spent her youth in the Louisiana towns of Westlake and Moss Bluff. The group contains a mix of generations, including the Guidry team of father and son, and all the members began their introduction into the world of music at a young age.
The elder Guidry was born in 1952 and founded the Zydeco Boneshakers in 1996. He owned his first guitar when he was five years old, and ten years later he was playing locally on the R&B scene with his first band, "the Young Generation". In the handful of years the group remained active, Guidry and his bandmates backed such artists as swamp pop act Cookie & the Cupcakes, Rockin' Sidney, Boozoo Chavis, Willis Prudhomme, and Milton Landry, among others. The younger Guidry, born in 1986, followed in his father's footsteps when he, too, began playing an instrument when he was five years old. In addition to the scrub board, he plays the drums. Accordionist Goodly was drawn to music when she was eight years old and pulled together her own band before she'd entered her teen years. She has released a few solo recordings and is known by a few different nicknames, among them "Queen Ann" and "Queen of Zydeco." In her youth she was also known as "Princess Ann" and "Lil' Ann." Vocalist Pocarello started singing on-stage for the first time when she was ten. Keyboardist Orset was 13 years old when he joined a band comprised of his school buddies, and the venture that began as a way to have fun turned professional a short time later when the group was invited to play a job in Glenco, LA. Bassist Babineaux started to play the drums when he was seven years old but switched to piano a short time later. After viewing a televised performance of the Brothers Johnson, featuring Louis Johnson on bass, he gave up the piano for the bass around the age of 12. Drummer Dunaway, the son of Cookie & the Cupcakes singer Shelton Dunaway, also played his first instrument at age seven. ~ Linda Seida