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Reseña de álbum

Happytown, the eighth release by Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, marks Cajun music's 21st century arrival. With cosmopolitan breadth, the band uses diverse sounds — such as samples of field recordings, loopy drum tracks, and electrified ensemble instrumentation — while tenaciously clinging to its Cajun roots. In true tromping fashion, Happytown begins with an instrumental two-step, "Creole Stomp (Happytown)." The CD then segues into a moody waltz about a man waiting to be hanged. "Seems to Me," the album's fourth cut, fades into a snippet of a Louisiana field recording made by Alan Lomax in the 1930s, while a fiddle's psychedelic overtones saturate the chilling track "Les Vigilants/The Vigilantes." "Pointe aux ChÍnes/Oak Point," a shuffling blues-based tune, caps off Happytown with slide guitar riffs, straight-ahead drumbeats, and the respirations of a diatonic accordion. It's a fine slate of tunes that suffers not from a lack of quality, but from a lack of quantity: a mere 37 minutes of music. In sum, Happytown is a CD for both Cajun enthusiasts and contemporary folk music fans. It reflects Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys' imaginative approach to keeping this unique tradition alive.

Happytown, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys
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