Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys

This artist performed at the VFMF in 2018

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys (LA)

Southern Louisiana, from New Orleans west to the Texas border, is Cajun Country – home to what musician Steve Riley says is “…one of the richest cultures in the world.” It is here, and specifically Mamou, Louisiana – the Cajun Music Capital of the World – that has served as home base for Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and their quest to keep traditional Cajun music alive and evolving for thirty years.

Master accordion-player Steve Riley started the Mamou Playboys with fiddler Dave Greely (who has since left the group) in 1988. Both were students of Dewey Balfa, one of the greats of the music form, credited with helping the music expand beyond the bayou. Riley started singing at age three and playing accordion at seven, learning from his grandfather and great uncle in Mamou. By the time he met Greely at age eighteen, he had been playing with Balfa, as well as Marc Savoy, Denis McGee, and Sady Courville. 

And, once their own trajectory began, they’ve never looked back. The band has toured the world, renowned for their musicianship and electrifying performances. They’re a Cajun band, deeply rooted in the traditions of the music, but not afraid to innovate and take risks. They’ve pushed the music in new directions, incorporating Zydeco and Swamp Pop alongside traditional Cajun tunes and their own originals into a stunning repertoire of great music.

Today, with Kevin Wimmer (fiddle) who also worked with Balfa and brings a Creole influence to the band, Sam Broussard (guitars), Kevin Dugas on drums and Brazos Huval on bass (a Cadillac V-8 of a rhythm section), Riley and crew pack both dance halls and prestigious concert hall stages everywhere. 

Get ready to two-step, folks – Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys are coming to town!