Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys

Bayou Ruler

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Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, purveyors of traditional Cajun music, range far out of the bayous to incorporate most all the musical styles of Southern Louisiana. Bringing in the traditional Zydeco of Clifton Chenier (this they have flirted with for a stretch), the 1950s country-swing influence, swamp rock, and plain, straight-ahead-down-the-road rock & roll. Those of you who are traditionalists should still be happy with this disc because it uses as its base the very secure foundation that the band has established in Cajun music as its launching pad into its musical forays into new territories. As with all the S.R. & the M.P.s efforts, it displays the same musical drive at perfection that we have come to expect from them. The guests that appear on this disc do nothing but enhance the efforts that are made; just listen to "King Zydeco," a Riley/C.C. Adcock-penned tune, with additional musicians supporting the style shift and helping to swing it across. Producers Adcock and Tarka Cordell deserve a nod, as they took this gamble and helped to turn it into a winning disc. There still is some ineffable spirit lost with this disc, for all its strong points, but maybe it is the strong step to again revitalize Cajun music.

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