Privacy Policy You may submit material for review by first contacting Music Matters at the email address above. Contents are Copyright 2012, Music Matters Review, All rights reserved
Music Matters Albums
Listen to samples of
music that matters.

Through iTunes
Through Amazon

Issue 15
Issue 16
Issue 17
Issue 18
Issue 19
Issue 20
Issue 21
Issue 22
Issue 23
Issue 24
Issue 25
Issue 26
Issue 27

Issue 28
Issue 29
Issue 30

Find us on Facebook

Click here to play FreeRice 24 Hour Streaming Folk Music

Web Site:

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
2001, Rounder

Happytown is a voyage from the deep swamps and prairies of 1920s Louisiana Cajun to the loops and samples of today. The acoustic fiddle, T-fer and plaintive vocals of the forebears infuse the new with heart, while today’s sounds reenergize yesterday. Going further out from the root, Riley has discovered a world of dark, eddying currents, brilliant flashes of light and explorations of a new terrain. Just as a blood cell makes a voyage, Riley follows an ever branching pathway through the root stock of tradition on the title cut "Creole Stomp (Happytown)." From there, the music is carried to dark atmospheres of the spirit and soul cries. "Gros Jean/Big John" is such a tale of passion and crime. "Les Vigilants" brings it through the dangers of forbidden love and swirling pedal steel guitar. Just as the vein brings blood back to its source, "Poche Bridge" pounds and bounds forward in an instrumental that has a backbone of tightly harmonized fiddles. The heart is the Cajun heritage but swamp rocking guitar and saxophone brings it a new power. Wailing slide and diatonic accordion duels such as "Eclairs de Chaleur/Heat Lightning" and "Pointe aux Chenes/Oak Point" illustrate the wide range of the Mamou Playboys’ new vision. Riley’s accordion, Roddie Romero’s guitar, Kyle Hebert’s bass David Greeley’s fiddle, Kevin Dugas’ drumming and C.C. Adcock’s production have combined to form a genre stretching masterwork. From pain and fear to love and joy, Cajun music expresses the human condition. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys do that and do it well. —Mark Gresser

Back to main index