February 16 2011
Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys "La Danse de Mardi Gras"
You knew it was coming. This series just couldn't be complete without it. Zydeco that is. And I decided we'd roll with one of the best, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.
Zydeco is a form of American roots music. It evolved in the western Louisiana bayous in the early 19th century and was originally marked by a fast tempo with melodies coming from piano accordions and a wash-board rhythm section and sometimes with a fiddle. Though the modern zydeco is at home with nearly any kind of instrument as long as it has the other two. Either way, The Mamou Playboys got all that and then some.
Steve Riley, of Mamou Louisiana, is a widely acknowledged master of the Cajun accordion and its singularly powerful sound. Though there has never been an official competition among Cajun accordionists. Whenever a contest does arise, Steve Riley usually wins it, or judges it. Here we have Steve with a nice lineup of musicians that also includes Steve Greeley, who is one of Cajun music's most eloquent voices on the fiddle. Good stuff, and a taste of zydeco for Monday's(2/14) Mardi Gras Moment.