Date & Price
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Open Air Theatre
Free with Gardens Admission
Timed Admission Tickets or Timed Member Reservations Required
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tickets limited. Sell out likely.
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys’ stunningly clean and cohesive performance of Cajun French music from the backwaters of Southwest Louisiana propelled them into the world music limelight, garnering them three Grammy Award nominations in traditional folk music in 2004, 2009, and 2011. From the revelry of a hot two-step to a cappella ballads, this band delivers the most Cajun music found in any one spot.
Listen to Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
More about Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys began 30 years ago when their stunningly clean and cohesive performance of Cajun French music from the backwaters of Southwest Louisiana propelled them into the world music limelight. Their third release, Trace of Time, garnered them a Grammy Award nomination in the worldwide field of traditional folk music, followed by nominations in 2004 for Bon Reve, in 2009 for Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and again in 2011 for their latest release, Grand Isle.
When all that heart and skill focus on the revelry of a hot two-step, then turn on a dime and deliver an a cappella ballad, then play something that sounds like Howlin’ Wolf fell in lust with a Creole girl, you’ve found the most Cajun music you can find in any one spot. You’ve found Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.
Steve Riley of Mamou, Louisiana is a widely acknowledged master of the Cajun accordion and its singularly powerful sound. There has never been an official competition among Cajun accordionists, but whenever a contest does arise, Riley usually wins it or judges it. His playing is a standard by which timing, phrasing, and ingenuity are measured on the royal instrument of South Louisiana. That, combined with his searing, emotional vocals, song writing, soulful fiddling, and onstage frontman charisma, has led many to refer to the band simply as “Steve Riley.” For many, that would be enough, but for this band and its devoted fans, there’s much, much more.
Kevin Wimmer has been playing fiddle since the tender age of three. He performed frequently with Dewey Balfa and learned the essence of the tradition directly from him. Over the years he has performed all over the globe, most notably with Preston Frank and the blues-and-swing-inspired Red Stick Ramblers. Wimmer brings a Creole influence to the Mamou Playboys, as exhibited by his unique fiddle repertoire and his powerful vocals.
Sam Broussard generates a cyclone of guitar. On acoustic, electric, and electric slide, he carries the music of his ancestry farther than it has ever gone, and garners the lion’s share of spontaneous applause for his soloing skills. Add to that his song writing, arranging, and tenor singing, and the result is a feast of creativity that can motivate a packed dance hall or a concert audience.
Kevin Dugas on drums and Brazos Huval on bass are a Cadillac V-8 of a rhythm section. Known throughout South Louisiana for their hydromantic groove, they are the Wyman and Watts, the Muscle Shoals, the Double Trouble of the bayous, and they draw crowds in their own right wherever they perform.