Lil Buck & The Top Cats


Formed way back in 1959 by guitarist Paul „Little Buck“ Sinegal, Lil Buck and the Top Cats became a prominent R&B act in and around the Lafayette locality of Louisiana throughout the ‘60s.

The Bandleader was born Paul Alton Senegal in Lafayette, Louisiana. According to researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc, the spelling "Sinegal" rather than "Senegal" was the result of a passport error which he never corrected. He was nicknamed "Little Buck" (for buckwheat) or "Lil' Buck" because of his short size. His mother Odette Broussard played guitar, and in the late 1950s he began performing with such artists as Carol Fran, James "Thunderbird" Davis, Lee Dorsey, and Joe Tex. He became a session musician at Excello Records, working with Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester and others, and also recorded with Rockin' Dopsie, Katie Webster, and Lil' Bob.

 

In the late 1960s, Lil Buck and the Top Cats issued two very elusive 45s for local record store proprietor Carol Rachou and his La Louisianne stable. Mostly known for its country and southern blues output, the raw balls-out funk of the double headed “Monkey in A Sack” b/w “Cat Scream” probably had La Louisianne’s poor distributors scratching their heads wondering where to put it, which could go some way to explaining the record’s rarity today.

By the time the record was recorded the band was so well known in Louisianna that they had a regular Saturday night appearance on the Soul 69 show. The Band would do their TV slot and the rush off to the next venue they were due to play, backing up likes of Archie Bell, Robert Parker, Millie Jackson, Barbara Lynn, Betty Wright, Major Lance, Joe Simon and Detroit guitarist Dennis Coffey.

 

I did’t play nothin’ but funk”, states Little Buck unequivocally. Following the split of the band in 1970 though, Buck began to play Zydeco, a uniquely southern and Cajun influenced music which he still performs to this day with the original Top Cats rhythm section.

*Liner Notes with help from Jazzmanrecords and Lil Buck Senegal

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