“Millions of music devotees everywhere have been introduced to zydeco music through the genre’s most unique stylist: the individualistic Simien falls outside any zydeco camp you care to mention. It is this very ingredient that makes Simien’s artistry stand tall on it’s own. His genius stems from his uncompromising originality and progressive spirit. His new disc embodies that same maverick persona through an artful collection of heartfelt renditions. Unlike other tribute albums, Simien incorporates 9 spoken word tracks of commentary and personal reflection that consummate his sonic interpretations. Certainly a daunting task, Simien handles it with poised demeanor while not sounding overly rehearsed. The stories are priceless, emitting an inexplicable magical quality that adds a certain sweetness to the music.”
-Dan Willging Offbeat OFFBEAT New Orleans VOTED this disc ONE OF THE TOP 50 CD’s of 2001!
“During two decades of playing accordion and making zydeco, Simien has never followed tradition or pandered to the whims of the dance crowd. Instead he has fused traditional Creole zydeco with reggae, rock and soul. With his impassioned takes on these well-known standards, his new collection works both as a masterful tribute and an entertaining infectious album.
-Jim Beal, Jr. San Antonio Express News
“There are few words that can express the beauty of this album other than to describe it as a musical tribute of epic proportions. Simien has used his versatile talents to rise to a new level of musicianship in paying tribute to those that have passed, but not before leaving an indelible mark on his colorful career. The Tribute Sessions plays like a novel and as narrator his moving dialogue make this album a true work of art as well as a wonderful music history presented by an artist who is proud enough to pay tribute to his elders, but so confident an artist that he can recognize the influences of his contemporaries on his career.”
-Paule Patcher The Zydeco Road
“Terrance Simien is a musician with a mission, who has ever so gently nudged the world towards embracing the zydeco style. His method is simple: take the genre and wrap it in the soothing soul of Sam Cooke, the folksy Americana of The Band and reggae grooves of Bob Marley. Time and again his albums have displayed these characteristics, while still remaining wholly zydeco at their heart and soul. His Clifton Chenier’s, I’m Coming Home soars with the simplistic beauty of a 50’s ballad. He turns in a cover of Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day that would make Same Cooke- an artist Simien emulates with utter perfection-quite proud. View it as course in who Terrance Simien is or view it as a course in zydeco music. Either way this new disc is a remarkable love letter to the world of music.
-John Metzger The MusicBox
“As this very likable CD from this zydeco great shows, the genres best artists continue to expand its boundaries. He pays tribute to not just the usual suspects like Canray Fontenot or Clifton Chenier, but also to pop soulster Sam Cooke, rocker Rick Danko of The Band and reggae great Bob Marley. More important is that he takes music from these disparate influences and melds it into his own style. Simien has an extraordinarily soulful voice and the songs are timeless.
-Don Melvin The Atlanta Journal Constitution (B+)
The most significant zydeco release of 2001. Simien has a voice from God, an easy hippie-fied stage presence and a smooth fingered way with the accordion. The Tribute Sessions shows Simien to be a charming and talented fellow. As he talks about hearing Rockin Sidney on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 you can feel the delight in his voice. He pulls off one of the greatest Sam Cooke impressions with his sexy version of Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day. And the revelation that the Band is Simien’s favorite band ever would mean nothing if he did not prove it by pulling off a gorgeous version of Makes No Difference. This is one of the best things you are ever going to hear. Not only is it a great window into the soul of a very talented man, it also shows the depth and range and gypsy spirit of an artist who just might be the next big thing after all. I only hope it comes to pass-Simien is too good to be an under appreciated cult figure-we need him more than that.
-Matt Cibula PopMatters
“I have listened to “Tribute” several times and now I’ll try to measure the impact it had on me. The production and the performances are flawless as are the conception and continuity. This is a very personal CD and his spoken word introductions heighten this quality. He makes the personal connections effortlessly. There is such respect and love in the stories and perhaps more important in his voice. I found that I appreciate the remembrances almost as much as the music itself. I think Clifton’s comment about doing one’s own thing, of course is right. But in doing that, remaining true, the greatest artists make something new and uniquely their own. Frank Sinatra once said that this ability is what distinguishes a great artist. Simien is an artist who possesses that greatness.”
-Jake Anderson VCS Media Group, Denver