Click here for high res photos of the Lost Bayou Ramblers on Flickr,
including a performance with Luderin Darbone.
for information on the group's 2008 CD, Vermilionaire.
Live à la Blue Moon
For more information,
go to the Lost Bayou
Ramblers Official Web Site. Scroll down the page for more on
the band's background.
The laid back, loose and easy Blue
Moon Guest House and Saloon in downtown Lafayette quickly
begins to shake and shimmy when the small wooden back porch
dance floor overflows with two-stepping Cajuns there to have a
stomping good time to the rockin’ roots music of the Lost Bayou
Ramblers. That excitement has been captured on Live
la Blue Moon, recorded in January 2007 and released later that
year by Swallow Records. The CD has been nominated for a Grammy
Award in the new Zydeco-Cajun category.
With Louis Michot on fiddle and
vocals and his brother André
on accordion and lap steel, the band takes standards like “J’étais
au bal” and makes them pulsate with new energy punctuated by a
thumping drum-upright bass-guitar beat, joined by dancers
smacking the floor with primal intensity. Chris Courville is on
drums, Alan LaFleur on bass, and Cavan Carruth on guitar and
Louis Michot, who has taken over
the early Sunday morning slot from his uncle Rick on KRVS public
radio with a program featuring early recordings of Cajun music,
Michot certainly know how to root their music in tradition while
the band injects songs like “Chere Tout Tout,” “Bosco Stomp,”
and “Lacassine Special” with their own raucous, beautiful,
One of the many pleasures offered
on the CD is the vibrant sound of André’s
lap steel on swing numbers like Harry Choates’ “Austin Special,”
on the French and English “Macaque” (“You Can’t Put a Monkey on
My Back”), and on several Cajun standards.
Other cuts include Cyp
Lanreneau’s “Talle d’éronce,”
the Rodney LeJeune number “Dans les misères,”
John Fontenot’s “Tasse café pour me réveiller,” both “Alida
Waltz” and “Alida Two Step” from Aldus Roger, and Lawrence
Walker’s “Valse de malchanceux.”
The CD was recorded Jan. 12-13,
2007, when the New Orleans Saints were in post-season playoffs
(they won against the Eagles Jan. 13 and then lost to the
Bears), so on one cut the band switches from Cajun to Irish
Channel to play “Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints?”
The CD also features live versions
of Louis Michot’s “Blues de la Frontier,” David Michot’s “Moi
j’’connais pas,” both originally recorded on the
CD, and the title song from the
Bayou Perdu CD plus
“Mexico One-Step,” and, as part of the final cut on the live CD,
“Blue Moon Special.” The band’s song celebrating drinking and
dancing at the Blue Moon segues into “Step It Fast” (“T’en as eu,
t’en n’auras plus”) and Marc Savoy’s “Sam’s Big Rooster,” ending
the evening with more stomp down rhythm and cut loose vocals.
You can’t duplicate the experience
of a Louisiana weekend without actually being there jostling
with the dancers to a pounding beat strong enough to levitate
everyone into another dimension, but listening to this CD comes
Photos in this section were taken at the Blue
Moon, at Grant Street Dance Hall, at Festival International, and at
the Liberty Theater. Band members, shown immediately above at the
Blue Moon Dec. 29, 2007, are Louis Michot on fiddle; André Michot on
accordion and lap steel; Cavan Carruth on guitar; and Alan LaFleur
on upright bass. Chris Courville is shown on drums in the right
column. Guest drummer in the photo above is Frank Kincel of the
Click on thumbnails to view larger photo.
to go to the Official Web Site of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, which
includes contact information, a performance schedule, and more information about the band.
The Lost Bayou Ramblers are a young group that plays in the old style–or
rather styles, exploring the rich diversity of the Cajun musical heritage.
Their first commercial CD, Pilette Breakdown, was released
in 2003 by Swallow Records. It includes several cuts from Un 'Tit Gout,
an independently produced CD. The band has been playing since 1999.
On the group's version of "O Bebe," first recorded by
Oscar Doucet and Alius Soileau in 1929, Louis Michot's vocals fill the room
with raw power accompanied by an accordion/fiddle duet and insistent rhythm
guitar. If you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself at a Cajun house
dance before the introduction of amplified sound. That same intensity comes
across in the band's version of the Dennis McGee-Amédé Ardoin song "One-Step
de Chameaux" and on original songs that sound like they came from decades
ago: the title cut, "Pilette Breakdown," written by Louis Michot, and "Moi,
J'Connais Pas," by Uncle David Michot.
The band also plays music from the string era of the
late 1930s and 1940s, including "Tu Peut Pas M'Arrêter de Rêver" (a hit
American song in 1937) and "Louisiana Boogie Woogie," the band's version of
a Harry Choates number, recorded at a live performance in Brooklyn. The
other number from that live recording is a rollicking combination of "O Bye," in
which Louis Michot draws on the Creole tradition, segueing into "Blue Runner," with
some zydeco double-clutchin' drum licks thrown in for good measure.
Among the other numbers are "Valse de Holly
Beach,"–Lawrence Walker's tribute to the Cajun ability to let the good times
roll even while being eaten alive by marsh mosquitoes– and "Happy Hop,"
another Lawrence Walker song.
Some of the songs are familiar, like "Tu Peut Cogner
Mais Peux Pas Rentrer" and "La Valse Criminelle," but most, like "Cafe Chaud,"
have not been recorded often.
Also among the CD's 15 cuts are two original
instrumentals: "Rainé Stomp," named after a horse owned by Uncle Bobby
Michot, and a fiddle tune, "Blues de la Frontier."
Much more information about the band's music and Cajun
music in general is included in the liner notes by Ryan Brasseaux. In
addition, Brasseaux has combined a multimedia presentation with live music
played by the band in a program titled "The Once, Present, and Future Cajun
Music." In May 2004, the program was the keynote presentation at
the International Country Music Conference in Nashville.
Louis Michot, fiddle and vocals, and André Michot,
accordion and lap steel, are the sons of Tommy Michot, one of the members of
Les Frères Michot, a band
that for more than two decades has traveled worldwide (joined by Louis and
André on their recent CD La Roue Qui Pend). That band, it is worth
mentioning, includes State District Judge Rick Michot and State Senator Mike
Michot. The father of Les Frères (Louis and André's grandfather) is Louis Michot, a remarkable entrepreneur.
He is best known to most of us in Louisiana as the owner of Burger Chef
restaurants from days gone by and as a former superintendent of education
(when the position was a statewide elective office)
and gubernatorial candidate, but he has also developed many other successful
business enterprises, while managing to raise ten children.
As of spring 2004, members of The Lost Bayou Ramblers, in addition to Louis and André Michot, included
Chris "Oscar" Courville, drums and t-fer;
Jon Bertrand, guitar; and Alan LaFleur, upright bass. In the photos on this
page, Cavan Carruth, who plays guitar on three cuts on the CD, is shown on
guitar. In addition, on the CD, David Michot, uncle of Louis and André,
plays upright bass and guitar, and Randall Klitz plays upright bass on one cut.
The photos on this page were taken during a
performance at Festival International in Lafayette April 25, 2004.