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Lost Bayou Ramblers / Press

“Lost Bayou Ramblers owning the crowd and their increasingly interesting rock/Cajun synthesis before Gordon Gano walked onstage”

“After "Mammoth Waltz" drops, critics will be hard-pressed to put the Lost Bayou Ramblers in any box.”

“On the Red Bulletin Stage, fans of electronic music were given a powerhouse line-up featuring the likes of Fatboy Slim, Girl Talk and Major Lazer, while just across the lawn an ongoing showcase of blues, jazz and bluegrass took place on the Preservation Hall Stage, which hosted most notably the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with The Del McCoury Band and Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes with Lost Bayou Ramblers.”

“The youthful sweethearts of the Lost Bayou Ramblers have spent 2011 evolving in leaps and bounds. The band’s high-energy, no-quarter live performances have always revealed the punk-rock possibilities of traditional Cajun stomps. With their most recent recordings, they’ve veered from their regular, old-school strategy of bare-bones live recording into adding more contemporary rock 'n’ roll studio effects – to great effect. The set was billed with Gano’s name on top, but it was a Ramblers show. The original Ramblers dominated the first hour with a mix of traditional music and new, tricked-out songs with effects pedals aplenty. Gano, plucking a fiddle, joined them for the last half-hour, a brief assault of Femmes songs (“Add It Up,” “Please Do Not Go”) reworked with strings and accordion.”

“Listen and you'll hear a genuine affinity between the godfather of post-punk adolescent angst and a pioneering Cajun band playing a leading role in a developing music scene centered in Lafayette, La., where a handful of ground-breaking bands born into the local traditions also have been raised on progressive rock flavored with dub and techno. The Saturday appearance at Voodoo will serve as the official release of the Ramblers' "Bastille," a 12-inch vinyl single featuring contributions by Gano. "Bastille" is one of the genre-busting tracks on The Lost Bayou Ramblers' forthcoming album Mammoth Waltz, which also features performances by actress/singer Scarlett Johansson and Dr. John. The B-side offers a total-makeover remix of "Bastille" by indie-rockers GIVERS. ”

“We capped Thursday night at the Dance Tent, where we sashayed and two-stepped to the tunes of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, a spunky Cajun band that springs from the swamps of south Lousiana. The group is driven by brothers Louis (fiddle) and Andre Michot (accordion), who learned to play Cajun from their fathers and uncles. I’d crossed paths with the Ramblers six years ago, in Richmond, Virginia. Since that time the band has added a more rock and roll edge to their sound, while still maintaining their roots. Thursday night they delivered a cover of Old 97s’ “Four Leaf Clover.””

“The new wave of young Cajun bands coming out of Lafayette, La. was well represented at the festival by the Pine Leaf Boys, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Feufollet, the Red Stick Ramblers and Jesse Lege, Joel Savoy and the Country Cajun Revival, who all delivered fine sets. But the best showing from this movement was the Sunday set by the Lost Bayou Ramblers, who demonstrated how Cajun music and punk rock could be fused without violating the spirit of either. They did it by sticking mostly with acoustic instruments (fiddle, button accordion, upright bass and drums were joined by an electric guitar) and by putting real Cajun and real punk side-by-side rather than watering each down. So the fiddle and squeezebox might play the original melody and syncopation of “Pine Grove Blues,” while the guitar struck up a drone and the drums hammered out a staccato stomp. It shouldn’t have worked but it did.”

“The Lost Bayou Ramblers walked onto the Fais-Do-Do Stage at the New Orleans Jazz Fest looking like an indie rock band: a bunch of young guys sporting hipster Mohawks, electric-blue pants, large tattoos and giant sunglasses with thick turquoise frames. But as soon as the Lafayette band started warming up, their fiddles and accordions began producing the unmistakable sounds of classic Cajun music, the kind of sounds some bayou dwellers associate with only the oldest generations. Yet the band infuses these "old" sounds with fresh, rock-influenced life. The Lost Bayou Ramblers specialize in a high-energy, raucous brand of traditional Cajun music that combines electric guitars and heavy drums with fast-playing fiddles, accordions and lyrics in Cajun French. In other words, these guys ripped through a series of hardcore Cajun songs like bayou rock stars.”

“The Grammy nominated group, Lost Bayou Ramblers, were the talk of the festival at this year’s Merlefest. The Louisiana band drew large crowds on both Thursday and Friday of this years festival. While listed as a cajun band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers draw influences from traditional cajun, western swing, rockabilly and even punk rock. But the LBR bring something unique to their shows. Energy.”

“Those quarter-century-old folk-punk tunes mix surprisingly well with the even deeper antiquity of Cajun music when filtered through the Lost Bayou Ramblers, now in their 12th year of rattling the preconceptions of how Cajun music can sound.”

"By most objective measures, it would be wrong to call Grammy-nominated Cajun band the Lost Bayou Ramblers punk rock, but everything they play goes forward and does so hard (though not necessarily fast). They keep it straightforward (though not necessarily simple), and they're not afraid of abrasive textures (particularly in Andre Michot's accordion). On fiddle great Varise Conner's "Hommage a Varise," you think you're getting a break in Louis Michot's delicate, sweet playing for the first minute, but when a second fiddle joins, there's the same insistence and syncopation that fills a dance floor."

"The Lost Bayou Ramblers pride themselves on a traditional sound, with French lyrics supported by fiddle and accordion strains that seem to holler of Acadiana. On stage, however, this young, energetic Lafayette band offers anything but a typical Cajun dancehall performance. The band closed out a barnstormer of a set on the Fais Do-Do Stage. Alan LaFleur gave a few hints as to what would come as he periodically lifted his upright bass over his head with one tattoo-scripted arm. Later, this battered-but-tuneful bass was cantilevered out over the edge of the stage with LaFleur perched on its tail end, still playing. As a grand finale, he held the bass stable, slapped its strings in time with the rest of the band and invited fiddler and vocalist Louis Michot to climb up the instrument's ample flank. Michot kept strumming as he climbed and then held a photogenic pose there atop the bass as if it were a mountaintop. The Lost Bayou Ramblers didn't miss a beat.

"The Lafayette-based quintet started the year with a Grammy-nominated live album and now release a new studio CD, Vermilionaire. And no wonder they caught the Recording Academy's attention: they are a Cajun band that sounds authentic without being too retro, and fresh without compromising that authenticity."

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