With their uncompromising respect for tradition and a forward-looking vision, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys have set the standard for modern Cajun music.
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys began over 20 years ago with a reputation for excellence. Their stunningly clean and cohesive performance of Cajun French music from the backwaters of Southwest Louisiana propelled them into the world music limelight early on, and by their third release had garnered them a Grammy nomination in the worldwide field of traditional folk music, another in 2004, another in 2009 and most recently they were nominated for a Grammy in the Best American Regional Roots category in 2012. Never before in Cajun music has a comparable wealth of skills been brought to the same table. South Louisiana’s Cajun culture has been under siege and survived for 300 years. Through it all, Cajun music has been a fountain of joy and a focus of identity. A blend of accordions and fiddles, black and white, sorrow and celebration, back-porch reverie and Saturday night release, this music has inspired Cajuns and anyone else who hears it to lay down their troubles for a while and celebrate. Like all great forms of folk music, it is forged in great hardship and created for a great purpose – to remind the world and themselves that “we still exist and we will find a way to continue.”