Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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 Chris Miller and
 Bayou Roots

Click here for hi res photos posted on Flickr.
 
 Click here to go to the Official Bayou Roots Web Site, which contains detailed information about the band, news, photos, booking contacts, and online ordering for the group's CD. The band also has a MySpace page.

During the day Chris Miller is a music teacher at Barbe High School in Lake Charles. During the evenings and on weekends, he is one of the most talented younger Cajun musicians performing today. He was a member of popular group Louisiana's Kingfish and now has his own band, Bayou Roots. The group's web site provides details about his background, his early interest in Cajun music and opportunities to play with the Vanicor brothers in Lacassine and other veteran musicians. The site also has extensive information on Bayou Roots' other members, Steve Dougay, who handles some of the vocals as well as guitar and bass; Clint Ward, fiddle, sax, vocals; Tim Broussard, bass and also some accordion; and Dale Dougay on drums. Tim's father, Marty Broussard, plays dobro on three cuts. Miller himself pretty much does it all: vocals, accordion, fiddle, harmonica, piano, percussion.

Bayou Roots' 2005 CD, Chris Miller and Bayou Roots, displays  the group's musical range in  traditional Cajun, Zydeco, and little known songs from the Lacassine area, all interpreted with imagination and originality. "One-step de Bashoot LeBlanc" draws on music played by a store owner who lived near Lacassine, and "Ton 'tit bec est doux" adds words to an instrumental tune Miller heard growing up around Lacassine. The band offers their versions of "Old-Fashioned Two-step" "Choupique Two-step," and "Dansez Codinne" (with Miller's children singing lovely harmony) as well as a modernized version of Canray Fontenot's "Bee de la manche" and a return to the old times with "Deux Contredanses."  "In the Pines" features Steve Dougay doing the original English lyrics with Miller singing the Cajun version. Miller's own "La valse d'espoir" is filled with hope instead of the more typical sense of loss and regret in the lyrics of many Cajun waltzes. In "La belle dans mes rÍves," Miller has composed a beautiful folk ballad.

In total, the CD has 16 cuts. The liner notes include all of the lyrics in French and English, as well as additional information about the songs.

Chris Miller and Bayou Roots play mostly in the Lake Charles area, but they deserve much wider exposure. They are really accomplished musicians: roots music from the bayou that branches in many directions and takes us to new places. 

On August 18, 2006, Bayou Roots received the Cajun French Music Association Le Cajun Award as Band of the Year. They also received the CD of the Year Award and the People's Choice Award.

 

The photos of Bayou Roots were taken in 2004 and 2006 at the Liberty Theater in Eunice. In 2006, Tim Broussard joined Chris Miller for an unusual demonstration of double accordions. Clint Ward is shown on fiddle. Steve Dougay is on guitar. In the bottom photo, Dale Dougay can be seen on drums, along with Chris Miller's children, Caressa, Colten, Camryn, and Candace, singing "Dansez Codinne"

Posted 7-25-06

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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