Buckwheat Zydeco's Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr. can't remember the last time he spent Mardi Gras in his beloved New Orleans.
"For Mardi Gras, I'm always at my home away from home -- the road," said Dural, calling from a tour stop in Chicago. "I have to bring Mardi Gras to the people."
After all, Buckwheat Zydeco and the band's accordion-driven mix of Creole, zydeco and the blues is the soundtrack of New Orleans. And if people can't get to New Orleans, Dural sees it as his calling to bring that music and the good-time life philosophy to them.
"I know we have a lot of problems in the world, but you gotta live your life," Dural said. "You should appreciate it. You have no business being disturbed and angry with the world, unless there's something wrong with your brain. I want to bring more happiness."
Though there is an element of the blues in Buckwheat Zydeco's music, he sees his style as the opposite of the blues. Rather than wallowing in your problems, Dural wants his fans to dance their problems away -- at least for the time they spend together.
"Whether it's for two people or 2,000, that's what I find rewarding," he said. "When you go to sleep, it's a blessing when you open your eyes. We should enjoy ourselves. People who are not happy ain't going to be anywhere near Buckwheat Zydeco."
It's that feeling that has kept people coming back to see the band year after year. "The audience is a family," Dural said. "When we go on tour, it's like a family reunion."
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And that word-of-mouth has made Buckwheat Zydeco an unusual success story, with an audience that keeps growing, as the band heads toward four decades on the road.
The band earned its first Grammy Award with its most recent album "Lay Your Burden Down" (Alligator). Interest in Dural and his unique view of the world has grown so much that he even has his own YouTube reality show now.
"It gives people a chance to see what's going on with me when I'm home," Dural said. "They see me work, feed my animals and ride my tractor all over the place. It's pretty normal. When I'm on the road, that's when I'm celebrating."
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday, Patchogue Theatre, 71 E. Main St.
INFO $38-$56; 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org