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World Music CD Reviews North American

STEVE RILEY AND THE MAMOU PLAYBOYS

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published June 27, 2006

Dominos
Rounder DualDisc

Steve Riley has been coming out with innovative Cajun music for a long time but his innovations are usually more subtle than blatant. With his latest album, the most obvious evolutionary feature is technological, Dominos being the first Cajun DualDisc ever, the flip side being a DVD which contains interviews with the band as well as performances of three of the songs from the album and the title song from Riley’s previous album. With lead vocals shared in equal measure by Riley and fiddler David Greely, the group explores a well-balanced repertoire that includes a few originals, some traditional tunes, good covers of D.L. Menard, Denis McGee, Canray Fontenot, and a translated version of Milton Brown’s “Keep A-Knockin’.” “Les clefs de la prison,” originally recorded by Alan Lomax, is given a beautiful acappella treatment that’s very unlike the original field recording in mood. Right from the lead-off (and title) track, which Greely wrote with Ray

Bonneville, it’s obvious that this is a class act. After three previous Grammy nominations Dominos may be the album that could win it for these Cajuns.