Squeezing out some great zydeco music

When Greg Speck's son encouraged him to put together an accordian-based band, Speck was game. A long time musician, he figured he and his sons

could play a couple of gigs together before he moved on to another project.

Of course, a band needs a name. So Speck and his sons, Alek and Nick, tossed out possibilities.

It was a complete lark. We were joking, Speck said. "We said, 'Let's go with a superhero name.'"

And that's how Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers came to be. That was some 15 years ago, so Speck's notion that the band would be around for just a couple of shows was, well, a bit off.

But the band is certainly different from those early days. Alek and Nick, who were 12 and 16, respectively, when the band was first formed, have grown up and moved on to musical pursuits of their own. They've been replaced by a rotating cast of characters who have played with Speck everywhere from Long Island to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers are regulars at festivals and town parks in the Capital District, and they'll take part in the summer concert series at Freedom Park in Scotia on Saturday, June 26, at 7 p.m.

"Get ready to participate," Speck advised people who plan on checking out that or any of the group's other shows. "Get on your cell phone and invite 100 friends, because it's going to be a good time."

Having a good time is what performing is all about for Speck. An English teacher at Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School, he said that when he plays music, the emphasis is on "play."

"I gotta play music," he said. "I don't have to think of anything when I'm on stage."

Born into a musical family, Speck wanted to play an instrument as a kid, but there weren't a lot his parents could afford. Piano was out of the question. Accordion, however, was a good fit.

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