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    Balfa Toujours
    Live At Whiskey River Landing
    2000, Rounder

This live disc fairly crackles with the energy of the crowd and band feeding off of each other during this live performance at the legendary Angelle's. This joy de vivre explodes off the disc, impelled by the band playing with the reckless abandon made possible by the comfortable atmosphere of the club. Thus we are treated to a set of music that is rarely caught live. For shear joy, listen to the inspired playing that is generated on "Le Reel Fruge," played with just two fiddles and a triangle. Contrast this with the hard-driving sound of "Chez Geno" that finishes the disc and you can see the variety here. I've had the good fortune to see this band a number of times, and the electricity that they generate live has never fully come across on their studio recordings—until now! This is a band that takes the tradition and feeling that is essential to Cajun music and makes it at home in today's world. Christine Balfa comes from a family that is steeped in the Cajun Music tradition. Dirk Powell, her husband, is a student of the music and traditions, bringing this study to life rather than leaving it as an academic pursuit. This is one of the foremost traditional Cajun bands playing today. This live disc shows why Cajun music is rapidly becoming so popular and their concerts (best heard in a dance hall) are sellouts.—Bob Gottlieb

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