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BAYOU SECO "Following in the Tuneprints" Ubik Sound UBIK 25

Bayou Seco are a new name to me, although they've been plying their trade for the last 25 years. As their name suggests - they perform music synonymous with America's south western environs.

It's where cajun, music of the desert, Texas' wide open plains and Tex-Mex merge as one - an expansive pot pouri of traditional riches. On tracks featuring vocalists/tunesmith Jeanie McLerie they're somewhere between American female band Ranch Romance and the UK based unit, Zumzeaux. It's varied temperatures make for solid easy listening - despite there being such a traditional depth running through it's veins.

Here we have a band that'll never be happier than when you're playing live - they aren't your studio woven or polished unit ..., just an enthusiastic bunch of diverse musicians performing songs they love. Personal highlights being leader (accordion, fiddle, triangle and vocals) Ken Keppeler's "Polka Malibuski", McLerie's beautiful modern day ode, "Lonesome Cowgirl's Blues" and a bubbly version of Dennis McGee's "Valse Ballot".

Staying with fiddles - the tunes from Elliott Johnson span cajun, and on "Mary Johnson" something that is most definitely of British origin. As if that wasn't enough - we have "Canray's Copenhagen" (a tune learned by legendary creole fiddler and friend of the late McGee - Canray Fontenot, while over in Holland, from a Turk) and for music to evoke an image of starry skies, "Same Old Moon". Performed by Jeanie and Frannie Leopold as the Delta Sisters. If you're near to where they are appearing in January, I recommend that you go along - you won't be disappointed!

Maurice Hope

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This album was reviewed in Issue 14 of The Living Tradition magazine.