It’s no secret that Louisiana is the cauldron where so many of the ingredients of what has come to define American music were first boiled, but too often the credit seems to go to New Orleans. In the Cajun backwaters, country and French Acadian music intermingled in ways that paralleled what blacks were doing in the Crescent City. The Red Stick Ramblers, a young outfit from Baton Rouge, do a bang-up job of conveying this musical sprawl; on the band’s new album, Made in the Shade (Sugar Hill), they zip effortlessly between old-fashioned honky-tonk, Cajun jams, western swing, zydeco, blues, and even straight-up jazz, without ever sounding like glib dilettantes or overambitious pretenders. Their repertoire features both original and standard material, but the execution is unfailingly high energy and crisp, without a trace of sentimental hokum. The members clearly love the stuff they’re playing, and though the liner notes suggest that these guys might be uptight record collectors, they sound utterly natural when they’re tearing it up. They play tomorrow night at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Today’s playlist:

Emilie Simon, The Flower Book (Milan)
Maria Bethania, Ciclo (Universal, Brasil)
Charlie Hunter Trio, Misitico (Fantasy)
Georgia Anne Muldrow, Olesi: Fragments of an Earth (Stones Throw)
Zein l’Abdin, The Swahili Song Book (Dizim)