Lost Bayou Ramblers

Jazzfest

April 28, 2005

The Lost Bayou Ramblers had a sparkle in their eyes as they played Jazzfest Thursday afternoon. It was the sparkle of youthful exuberance and tomfoolery. The quintet of twenty-somethings from Lafayette played with a passionate fire that one doesn't normally find in traditional Cajun bands.

That's why they're one of the best around. They're not jaded, yet. They approached Cajun-inflected swing from the '20's and 30's with the bravado of rock stars. They didn't take themselves too seriously, though. They smiled, made fun of each other, and made up names for two-steps on the spot. The name depended on whom the song was dedicated to. When a song got particularly hot, drummer Chris Courville breathed an affirmation into the mic.

They fit in one accordion-driven waltz, but the rest of their one hour set consisted of fast-paced dancing music propelled by bass and drums. Alan Lafleur used black gloves to pick fat notes out of his upright bass, while Chris Courville played an amazing variety of syncopated rhythms with snare brushes and a kick drum.

Jon Bertrand lifted the neck of his acoustic guitar into the air vertically, but unfortunately he was too low in the mix. Fiddler and lead vocalist Louis Michot was rightfully high in the mix. His fiddle solos were impressive, and his French lyrics and Cajun yoddle added an authentic spice to the concert.

The crowd was diggin' on the music big time. People were dancing and responding with their bodies to the band's energy.


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