Balfa Toujours

Live at Whiskey River Landing

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Angelle's Whiskey River Landing, a modest but regionally famous bar and dancehall on the levee of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin, almost deserves credit as a bandmember on this thrilling live album. Angelle's is Balfa Tourjours' favorite place to play, and you can hear it on every song; the band is completely relaxed, laying down a stomping, rolling rhythm under the constant ripple of fiddle and accordion and Christine Balfa's wailing vocals. The band members laugh and compliment the dancers between songs and lapse from English into French and back again apparently without thought. The tunes range from the soaring "La Chandelle Est Allume" to down-and-dirty stompers like "The Towing Truck Blues" and "Le Two-Step du Platin" without much variation in mood; this isn't a concert, it's a dance party, so the music is there to serve a higher purpose. You might expect that fact to make the music less interesting, but it doesn't. Instead, what's consistently amazing is the sheer force of humor and goodwill that permeates every note. Highly recommended.

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