Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 12, 8 p.m. 2011

San Felipe, Texas—about 50 miles west of Houston—isn't exactly a Creole hot spot. But that's where accordionist, fiddler, and singer Cedric Watson grew up, and in the past few years he's emerged as the great hope of Louisiana's black Creole culture. Youthful visits to relatives in Louisiana sparked his curiosity, and a year after finishing high school he moved to Lafayette and began learning the local French dialect. Before long he was relighting the sputtering torch once carried by the likes of Amadé Ardoin and Canray Fontenot: Watson became the key member of Pine Leaf Boys, a group of Cajun revivalists who played tradition-oriented originals and classic material, and a few years he ago he struck out on his own. On his second album, L'esprit Creole (Valcour), he gracefully ping-pongs between Cajun and zydeco, adding generous helpings of soul, blues, and Caribbean music (he plays the Hohner Erica, a diatonic button accordion that's popular in the islands) that complement rather than overwhelm the Creole flavor. Sold out. —Peter Margasak

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