Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
Grand Isle (2011)
Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys characterize the energy and vitality of the musical melting pot of southern Louisiana. On their latest album, Grand Isle, Riley and his colleagues present a collection of songs that show the various musical intersections found in the region, which include Cajun, Zydeco, western swing, blues and country music. However, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys go beyond southern roots and include global sounds such as ska beats.
Grand Isle includes primarily original pieces by members of the band and other Louisiana songwriters. Vocals are in English and the local dialect of French. The BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and its effect on coastal communities is a key focus of the lyrics in album. “Cajuns possess the magic ingredient that is only produced by genuine suffering,” fiddler and co-leader David Greely explains. “Survivor joy can be found around the world, in the world’s best music.”
The band line-up includes co-leader Steve Riley on accordion and vocals; David Greely on fiddlwe and vocals; Sam Broussard on guitars and vocals; Brazos Huval on bass guitars; and Kevin Dugas on drums and triangle.
“The Mamou Playboys don’t put out an album unless we have something to say,” Steve Riley reflects, “unless we’re setting the bar higher. This record is designed to make people scratch their head and wonder, and to push the music forward.”
On Grand Isle, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys demonstrate that they are one of the essential bands in the southern Louisiana Cajun music scene.