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Digdig

Digdig

Imagine a little French café, somewhere far from the boulevards of Paris, an outside table — and the Indian Ocean gently lapping at your feet. It’s difficult to convey quite how disorientating *Digdig* is. Familiarity can’t be taken for granted. An accordion melody seems to float on a breeze; the percussion is light, but calling its listeners to a dance, and the guitars slither between a gentle high strumming and the lurch of a steel guitar. The vocals, when they come, are in French and then again, something else. There are good reasons for the confusion. Although *Digdig* comes out of the meeting between Bob Brozman, the California-based bluesman and Hawaiian slide-guitar virtuoso, and René Lacaille, one of the most talented multi-musicians from the tiny island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, its antecedents are even richer. Although still a French _département_, Réunion’s demography has been mixed: French colonialists, Arabic and Chinese sailors and an African tradition, imported with the slaves who were brought into the island’s sugar economy. All have made their musical mark. *Digdig* is a strangely sonorous album and ‘Mam’zelle Rico’ is such an exuberant number that Réunion should well consider adopting it as its anthem.