Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys, “Live at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles” (FAC)

reviews-waltermoutonConsidered a musician’s musician, the venerable Walter Mouton is the stuff legends are made of. For the past 65 years, he has led the Scott Playboys, and he has played La Poussiere Cajun Dancehall for 45 years, 30 straight on Saturday nights. Ironically, for his decades of performing, he only recorded a single 45 consisting of “Lonely Girls’ Waltz” and the accordionist’s signature “Scott Playboy Special” as the B side. Since he prefers his band’s live sound over a studio-produced one, culling choice cuts from his Festivals Acadiens et Créoles performances (1992–2014) only made good sense.

These 17 tracks are a worthy representation of the Scott Playboys’ fluid dancehall style, one that’s buoyed by motoring drums, walking bass and ringing steel. Mouton’s razor-sharp precision, impeccable timing and efficient accordion playing are prominent throughout but most saliently on “Hick’s Wagon Wheel Special” and “Papa George” where he really steamrolls on the loud little box.

In the liner notes, Mouton comments that he never wrote songs but fit the songs of others into his style. That explains the healthy assortment that includes two tunes from the Creole/zydeco realm, Canray Fontenot’s “Allons danser” and Geno Delafose’s swinging “C’est pas la paine brailler.”

While playing a wide range of favorites is a hallmark of any topnotch dance band, so is interacting with the audience. On “B.O. Sparkle Waltz,” Mouton gets his audience to mimic Leroy Broussard’s high screams on the chorus. During the “Scott Playboy Special,” he acknowledges members of the audience before blasting into the stomping breakdown. A pleasant surprise that was worth the wait.