Town & Village , GlobalFEST Preview >>
On January 21 and 22, the Public Theater (425 Lafayette St; 212-239-6200; www/ globalFEST, a world music festival with the same 13 acts performing a 45 minute set each night. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys is one of the top Canjun groups and has a delightful new CD: “Dominoes” (on Rounder), (Actually, it’s a DualDisc with a DVD side containing video extras.)
The Cajuns were exiled from Canada and their music, like their spicy cuisine, picked up influences from other residents of the area, notably the black population, which was brought there as slaves. One member of the group, David Greely, said, “If we Cajuns hadn’t met the Creole people, our music would sound much more Celtic like the Eastern Canadian stuff and that’s why we have so much of a blues influence. The heavy backbeat is because of the Creole influence.”
The accordion was introduced into the area by German immigrants. The playboys’ songs are almost all in French, a language none of the group members spoke growing up. Another ensemble that reflects multi-cultural influences is Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All stars.
Their new CD is titled, “Carnival Conspiracy; In the Market place All is Subterfudge.” A song that starts with Eastern European sounds and Yiddish words can end up with Spanish lyrics or Brazilian beats. The titles are pretty funny, like “Oh Agony, You Are So Sweet like Sugar I Must Eat You Up” or “The Cobbles in the Street Moan for You.” The leader modestly writes in liner notes; “Esteemed reader you have purchased the greatest recording of all time, a CD so powerful that it will cure you of all ailments form impotence to flatulence.”
Imagine what the band’s live shows can accomplish. Other artists at GlobalFEST are Auktyon (Russia), Balkan Beat Box (Isreal/USA), Darra J (Senegal), Daby Toure (Mauritania), DJ Dolores (Brazil), Juan Carmona (France), Keren Ann (France), Las Oridas Marteles (France), Lura (Cape Verde), Niyaz (Iran/ India), and Roxane Butterfly’s Worldbeats presents Djellabah Groove (France/USA/Morocco). And all night pass (good for all three stages) is $40, quite a bargain. 02/01/06