Magnolia Sisters

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The Magnolia Sisters are that rarest of bands, an all-woman Cajun group, and that they're good should come as no surprise since they've been doing their brand of delightfully loose and authentic Louisiana string band music for over a dozen years now. The current configuration of the group features founders Ann Savoy and Jane Vidrine, as well as Lisa Trahan and Anya Burgess, and all four women are multi-instrumentalists who share a devotion to the rich traditional music of Louisiana. Mixing rare, haunting ballads with upbeat Cajun dancehall 2-steps, the Sisters are the real deal, and their albums are wonderfully timeless because of it. This set is no exception, and it doesn't leap off into new territory because, well, there's no need for it to do that. Among the gems here are the opener, an a cappella version of "A Boire, à Boire," a song originally collected by John and Alan Lomax in Louisiana in 1932, the gorgeous "La Valse d'Amitié," learned by Vidrine from Doc Guidry, the lively "Creole Stomp," which features twin fiddles by Burgess and Vidrine, and a great re-imagining of the Cajun standard "Jolie Petite Blond," which is here given an old-time blues feel. It all adds up to another fine outing from the Magnolia Sisters, and it sounds ancient and timeless, a bit like hanging out at a dancehall in Louisiana just at dusk on a beautiful Saturday night.

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