Lost Bayou Ramblers review…..August 7, 2017….




The Lost Bayou Ramblers draw from authentic Cajun music that is mixed with ultra-contemporary electronic and trance sounds.  Their mission is to excite and challenge listeners as well as to bring this music to younger audiences who may not be familiar with its rich history, mystique, and many nuances.  Their latest set was produced by Korey Richey, who is known for his work with LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire, and it is entitled “Kalenda.”  The lyrics are sung entirely in French, but the melodies and rhythms are no less infectious.

The band consists of brothers Louis, on fiddle and vocals, and Andre Michot, on accordion and lap steel.  They are joined by Bryan Webre on bass, Johnny Campos on guitar, Eric Hegle on electronic wizardry and acoustic guitars, and Kirkland Middleton on drums.  All are steeped in the rich traditions of this style of music, the brothers having learned on the fly as members of the family band, Les Freres’ Michot.

The album’s title, “Kalenda,” is very much an enigma.  It is a Caribbean dance, a Louisiana rhythm, a Cajun rock-and-roll song, and, a woman’s name.  The music herein shows how the band has blurred the lines of Creole and Cajun rhythms, while remaining true to their heritage.

We had several highlights.  They begin on a straight traditional note, with the lively accordion of “Sabine Turnaround.”  That one gives way to one of our favorites, the beautiful “Cote Clair Waltz.”  “Freetown Crawl–Fightin’ ville Brawl” begins their experiment of different textures and sounds, climaxing in a flurry of electronica.

The title cut has a spoken-word intro in English that explains the song as a traditional lullaby, but is presented herein as a polyrhythmic exercise that opens up its Creole influences.  The set closes with our other favorite, as the band further flexes its collective ability to cross genres’.  Set over  Andre’s lap steel, “Aloha Golden Meadow” is an instrumental that wouldn’t be out of place ten thousand miles from the Bayou Country, in the middle of a Hawaiian pineapple plantation!

The Lost Bayou Ramblers have a Grammy nomination from 2007, they have worked with Jack White, and they continue to experiment with modern sounds and rhythms in a predominantly-traditional field.  “Kalenda” is an excellently-ambitious effort!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: