No band in southern Louisiana may have a more fitting name than the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Hailing from Pillette, a tiny unincorporated community in Lafayette Parish, The Ramblers are first and foremost a traditional Cajun band, preserving a genre that long predates bounce rap as the region’s original, native dance music. The smooth waltzes and mid-tempo two-steps have been a fixture in the Gulf South since the first Nova Scotian Acadians arrived, and Cajun music exploded in popularity as the turn of the century brought inexpensive yet durable accordions and fiddles to the masses. But after a series of renaissances throughout the 20th century (inspired by everything from World War II to the Newport Folk Festival), by the 1980s traditional Cajun music had been all but usurped in even local circles by the bluesy edge of Creole zydeco.
The Lost Bayou Ramblers are at the head of a class of modern traditionalists ushering in the most recent Cajun revivial. Led by brothers Louis and Andre Michot – sons/nephews of the legendary Les Freres Michot – they’ve brought back the fiddle and almost exclusively French-sung lyrics that separated true Cajun music from it’s many fusion-based relatives and descendants. But in its performance, the Grammy-nominated Ramblers let stylistic flourishes from country/western swing, rockabilly and – increasingly – punk rock seep through, taking the genre’s historical reputation as dance-hall music to a glorious, high-energy extreme.
On Saturday night, they will be warming up the crowd for the valiant return of a man who probably needs no help whipping a group of Bywater concert-goers into an ecstatic frenzy. After taking their swamp-tech extravaganza up and down the east coast, through the midwest and into Canada over the last month, Quintron and Miss Pussycat are making a quick stop in New Orleans before heading West for the rest of the summer.
05.27: Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? + Noir Fonce + Hormone Imbalance – The Big Top
05.29: Daugh Gibson + Kindest Lines – Circle Bar
Check out our New Orleans Music Calendar for a full slate of constantly updated live picks