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Lost Bayou Ramblers
 2008 CD: Vermilionaire
Click here for high res photos of the Lost Bayou Ramblers on Flickr

Liner notes to The Lost Bayou Ramblers’ 2008 CD offer a definition of album’s title, Vermilionaire: “inhabitant of Southern Louisiana who benefits from the region’s rich culture and environment.” With a mixture of original, familiar, and traditional songs, the CD celebrates that richness while also reminding us that we could lose it all. 

“Valse de Mèche Perdu,” by Louis and Andre’s father, Tommy, describes the disappearances of marshes after the construction of levees that block the flow of sediment-laden water to renew the marshland. The closing line: “Combien des années avant notre culture suivra la mèche?”

The title cut, “Vermilionaire,” arranged by Ethel Mae Bourque and Louis Michot, describes the natural wealth of the Vermilion River region that, for a hunter and fisherman, will always provide: “Moi je vas jamais crever de la faim.” (Ethel Mae Bourque is a ballad singer from Maurice. Check out her MySpace Page for information on her CD.)

Other songs refer directly to the heritage of the Michot family. “Rue Qui Pend Breakdown” describes the deep ties to nature and to one another that they have experienced at their Rue Qui Pend family camp on Bayou Vermilion  (English translation: Hanging Wheel).

The CD begins with “Côte Gelée Two-Step,” the kind of song that makes the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette literally rock with dancers driven by the band’s pulsating Cajun rhythms. The title refers to an old name for the area around Broussard, and the lyrics, written by Louis Michot’s Uncle Rick (recorded on Les Frères Michot’s Elevés à Pilette) offer a sad account of a hardworking farmer who has discovered that his wife is unfaithful. His tears are falling into his bucket while he milks the cow.

Other Michot songs on the CD include “La belle du cemetière,” a brief song by David Michot about a woman who visits a cemetery and prays for her husband who was eaten by an alligator, and “Henry,” in which Louis is so aggrieved at Henry’s behavior that he threatens to shoot him

Other numbers on the CD include Nolan Cormier’s “La Valse de Mêche,” Sydney Brown’s “La Pistache à Tante Nana,” and “Font Culottes.”

The music of Vermilion Parish fiddler Varise Connor is recalled in “Hommage à  Varise,” featuring the twin fiddles of Louis Michot and Matthew Doucet. Other instrumentals on the CD include “Walker Special,” “Renée Stomp,” “Bayou Teche 2 Step,” “Main St. Special” (by André Michot) and “Boston Stomp.”  Henry Adams, another guest musician, plays lap steel on his waltz “Il m’envoyer.”

Click here 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.

Click here to go to LSUE's first page on the Lost Bayou Ramblers.

Photos on this page were taken at the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette and at 2008 Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.

Posted 5-15-09.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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