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MP3 Cachagua Playboys - Surf Zydeco

"Surf Zydeco"''s 13 fun and creative tracks prove that California''s coast isn''t really that far from the Louisiana Bayou. Stong Zydeco accordion, with flavors of Tex-Mex, jug band, Beach Boys, Rockabilly. Listen, you''ll like it.

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, FOLK: Folk-Rock

Cachagua Playboys Deliver Something New in Much Anticipated
“Surf Zydeco” CD

The Cachagua Playboys’ new CD, “Surf Zydeco, signals a creative leap for the band, featuring a diversity of styles and original material from all five members.

The Cachagua Playboys have been playing their own brand of Louisiana-flavored music for over a decade, well-steeped in Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans Mardi Gras boogie. But their roots are unmistakably the Central California coast, where the sounds of the ocean mix with the great musical traditions from San Francisco psychedelic blues to Southern California surf rock. What happens when such a diversity of sounds are given free rein to influence a band’s music? The Cachagua Playboys are calling it “Surf Zydeco”, the name of their brand new CD.

Not surprisingly, one can hear, side by side with the obvious Zydeco tunes, a wide array of genres in the various tracks. “Crush on You”, with its four-part harmonies, is a definite nod to the Beach Boys. There is swamp-funk (complete with hip-hop style scratch and rapping) on drummer John Tallon’s celebratory opening track, “Let’s Zydeco”, a jug band feel to guitarist/fiddler Pat Clark’s humorous yet touching ode to the temporary nature of life, “Till Death Do Us Part”, and a Tex-Mex flavor to guitarist Mike Eckstrom’s colorful ballad “Before the Sunrise”.

Their version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me” features an accordion solo which suggests how Zydeco great Clifton Chenier might have approached it. And the title track is a droning instrumental jam, complete with ocean waves and jaw harp twang.

What ties it all together is the Playboys’ “sound”, which has a cohesiveness that can only come from people who have been playing together for a long time. The vocal harmonies (all members sing) contribute a lot to the band’s tonal character, as does the instrumentation, particularly Kevin Gould’s funky and eloquent accordion, which is present on every track.

When the Five Cachagua Playboys went into Gary Souza’s Real-to-Reel Studio to make a new record, they had very few pre-conceptions. Someone would introduce a tune, lyric, or song idea, and in many cases, the band learned, arranged, and recorded it right on the spot, resulting in a fresh if somewhat unrefined sound.

“No computers were used in the making of this record, from recording right through mixing all the way to the mastering lab. No Pro Tools fixes. It’s totally analog, old school. Warts and all. There is a kind of warmth and intimacy with analog you just can’t get in the digital realm,” says the CD’s producer and bassist Rick Chelew, whose production credits include T Bone Burnett, Pentangle, and Bert Jansch.

Mac McDonald, of The Monterey Herald, said "This new album, only the second from the Cachagua Playboys, is a toe-tapping, head-bobbing, finger-popping romp through the swamps and backroads of Lousiana and Texas fueled by jalapeno-hot zydeco and liberally spiced with Tex-Mex, soul, rockabilly and even ragtime. It proves the ''boys are no one-trick pony, but a diverse and talented group (10 out of the 13 tunes are band originals) who not only can play their respective instruments, but can all write and sing as well. And have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. You''ll have a blast just listening. In fact, if you can sit still while listening to this album, you may want to have your pulse checked pronto."

The Cachagua Playboys consist of:
Rick Chelew: Producer/electric and upright bass, baritone ukelele, electric slide guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar, djembe and conga drums, vocals
Pat Clark: Electric lead, acoustic, and resonator guitars, mandolin, fiddle, vocals
Mike Eckstrom: Acoustic guitar, rub board, triangle, jaw harp, vocals
Kevin Gould: Accordion, vocals
John Tallon: Drums, tambourine, cowbell, chair, shaker, gourd, vocals`

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