The great hall of the Memorial Union here on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Madison has many faces on tonight. As the music began it was Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole causing a whole lotta happiness, dancing happiness from the first note all the way through. Playing songs that obviously had much meaning to the band, which carried right over to the crowd filling the hall. Ced went from fiddle to accordion and Lance Boston’s clarinet found a home right on the tips of my inner ear that I swear was the tickle of the band that I felt was personal to me. I would always make sure I’d see a show where this band, in any form was a part of the scene. A good time is sure to follow! Speaking of, right after Cedric and Bijou Creole, we were treated to the unique stylings of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. As Steve mentioned in our recent conversation on the show, this album “GRAND ISLE”, is a pot filled with “Survivor Joy” and gets much of it’s meaning and backbone from the Cajun people and their strong will through many struggles and such devastating atrocities. Both Steve and co-leader, David Greely take that energy while playing the new tunes but sure seem to add that “truth” to the tracks they played that came along before some of the more recent events in memory. A Madison crowd certainly takes to that real feel and the dancing was continued to be driven with smiles at the wheel. What a perfect billing of two incredible acts that share so much tradition being kept alive by the very people who reflect the sounds that continue to come from the souls of the Cajun people. From solo ballads to swamp pop blasts and funkified two-steps, this night had it all.
Creole and Beyond
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