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BAYOU SECO - Bouquet

BAYOU SECO - Bouquet
Zerx Records  ZERX080

Jeanie McLerie and Ken Keppeler have an unrivalled knowledge of the music of their own home, Silver City in New Mexico.  Bayou Seco play melodeons, fiddles, guitar and banjo, among other instruments, and define their material as cross-cultural music of the Southwest.

This CD is certainly that, featuring music and songs from the Hispanic tradition of New Mexico as well as the Cajun traditions of their previous home area of Louisiana, many of the songs being in the French or Spanish language.  There are a few cowboy songs like the Gol’ Darned Wheel, but for me the highlights are the wonderful fiddle tunes collected from their local O'Odham native people. The O'Odham musicians trace their musical roots back to the colonising Spanish Jesuits hundreds of years ago, and such tunes as Sonora Church and Purple Lilies are fascinating insights into an amazing tradition. 

Make no mistake about it, there is a lot of research involved here, and plenty of personally collected material, but this is no academic exercise, the sheer enjoyment of this duo shines through like a beacon!  These are real enthusiasts, with many years of experience, and I defy you not to be delighted by this little gem. Fierro is a great little song about the struggle of a small town in New Mexico, and on one of their annual trips to UK/Ireland they picked up Ron Kavana's lovely set of words to the old Texas tune Midnight On The Water, long a favourite of my own.

This is their 11th CD and the sleeve is beautifully designed, with all the basic information about the songs and tunes, but anyone needing more information or words of songs, can find it on their website at where all the CDs can be purchased. This is a really enjoyable and original CD so do yourself a favour, have a listen and try and catch them next time they are this side of the pond- you won't regret it.

Jim Bainbridge

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This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.