EARLVILLE – The high energy rocking Cajun music of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys returns to the historic stage of the Earlville Opera House this Saturday at 8 p.m. in honor of the EOH 40th anniversary. Steve Riley, of Mamou (pronounced Mam-moo) Louisiana, is a widely acknowledged master of the Cajun accordion and its singularly powerful sound. The Mamou Playboys include some of the finest musicians in south Louisiana: Kevin Wimmer is one of Cajun music’s most eloquent voices on the fiddle. Sam Broussard generates a cyclone of guitar. Kevin Dugas on drums and Brazos Huval on bass are a Cadillac V-8 of a rhythm section!
The Mamou Playboys are more than a traditional Cajun band; they take adventurous excursions from their Cajun dance hall roots to incorporate zydeco, swamp pop and roots rock. Their powerful rhythm section will have toes tapping and for the adventurous, EOH will be offering patrons free dance lessons at 7 p.m. in both Cajun waltz and two-stepping.
The band has recorded 11 CDs the majority on Rounder Records. The band’s February 2011 release is Grand Isle, taking the title from one of the Louisiana towns hit by last summer’s BP oil disaster. A CD review by Ira Brooker comments “The accordion, guitar and fiddle blaze away as Riley’s vocals shift from English to French and back. It’s an ingenious illustration of the song’s basic concept: you don’t have to speak the language to dig the vibe … Whether they’re delving into classic swamp pop ballads like “Non, je ne regretted rien,” mixing in a touch of country-western on “Grand Isle” or going for a straight-up tear-jerker like “Au Revoir,” The Mamou Playboys conduct themselves like the two-plus-decade veterans they are ... Actually, the average Grand Isle listener might not even suspect there’s any social commentary going on here (although the oil-soaked sea bird on the album cover is a bit of a giveaway). Many of the lyrics are in French, and the music is upbeat enough to pass as a party disc. But listen closely and it becomes clear that the Playboys’ tributes to the places and faces of the Louisiana lowlands are more than celebratory – they’re downright defiant.”
The red hot Louisiana sound of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys will be making some new fans at EOH this Saturday in the incredible acoustics of the historic theater! General admission is $20 and $18 with an EOH membership. Students are discounted to $15. Premium seating is available for added $5. The EOH Theater is wheelchair-accessible with a ramp and a lift.
Don’t forget to visit our Art Galleries, Artisan’s Gift Shop and EOH Arts Café! The café is always open before the performance and during intermission, and serves tasty desserts, refreshing summer drink classics, and hot coffee/tea as well. For more information, or to reserve your seats, call 315-691-3550 or order online at www.earlvilleoperahouse.com.
The Opera House is located at 6 East Main Street.