DIGDIG: Rene Lacaille and Bob Brozman CD Review: ISLANDS MAGAZINE
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Digdig - Rene Lacaille and Bob Brozman
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September/October 2002

Dig It

By Ned Sublette

Reunion Island - A speck of land in the Indian Ocean whose name can be translated as "The Island of Meeting" - was uninhabited until about 300 years ago, when the French established it as a transshipment point. Eventually, a curious and original music arose there, growing out of the roots of Réunion residents who had come to the island from France, Madagascar, continental Africa, and India, a mix subsequently enriched by the arrival of Chinese and Arabs.

This already creolized stew gets further stirred up on Digdig (Riverboat), a collaboration between Réunionnais multi-instrumentalist René Lacaille and slide guitarist Bob Brozman. Brozman, originally from New York City, is a wide-ranging ethnomusicologist best known for his work with historic Hawaiian music, not to mention his love of island culture. The two met through Jean Beauchesne, who every summer directs Quebec City's remarkable celebration of world music: Festival d'Eté.

The music on the CD flows naturally, having been captured with a clean, airy sound at a modern digital studio on Réunion. The trilingual package translates the creole lyrics into French and English, and the photography included with it is gorgeous.

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