April 28, 2005

Ex-Contintental Drifter Susan Cowsill seems like a good hang. After her solo set at the Sprint Stage the first weekend, Cowsill was squnched down drawing figures in the racetrack's dirt. Like a little girl. And then a few seconds after her guest vocal duties were done on the Bluerunners' song, "Ghost of a Girl," Cowsill ran back into the audience at Jazzfest's Fais Do-Do Stage Thursday afternoon to dance with her friends.

Fourteen year-old Lafayette band The Bluerunner's "Ghost of a Girl" wasn't as danceable as the rest of the set. It was more of an easy-going accordion-flavored rambler. A sentimental roots-rocker. Lead singer/fiddler/guitarist Mark Meaux and Cowsill sang:

"She's got the teardrop eyes/And a heart-shaped box where she keeps all your lies/She likes the lonesome songs/You can hear her heart break when she's singing along

Just a ghost of a girl/Seen way too much world/Just a ghost of a girl/And I love her."

The Bluerunner's greatest asset is that they can put stark lyrics over a progressive beat and slide guitar to make people boogie. "The Gravedigger," off their new album, manages to keep the folks dancing, but what is he saying?

"I'm shoveling mud in the moonlight
Fill up the hole in my chest
Where my soul used to be."--"The Gravedigger"

The Bluerunners dabble in zydeco, blues, country, and jam band funk, but their mainstays are Cajun two-steps and guitar solos. They were a mix of Balfa Toujours and ZZ Top. Their boisterous joie de vivre onstage went well with their rock and Cajun influences. They added texture with fiddle, sax, and electric steel guitar.

Some of The Bluerunner's material was traditional Cajun music, but most was written by Meaux, who is the band's only remaining original member. Joining Meaux were accordionist Adrian Huval, lap steel guitarist William Lee Golden lap steel, drummer Frank Kincel, and bassist Cal Stevenson. Mike Chiassonn played washboard.

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