Lost Bayou Ramblers: Catchy cajun for the soul

The Lost Bayou Ramblers are different. This must be expressed, emphasized and remembered. Hailing from the glorious South, the four-piece is determined to avoid stereotypes and to clarify their identity, one listener at a time.

Members of the group include Louis Michot on fiddle and vocals, Andre Michot on accordion and lapsteel, Pauly Deathwish on drums and vocals, and Cavan Carruth on guitar and vocals. No newbies to the scene, the band has been around for over 10 years with several incarnations. Their latest album, Mammoth Waltz, was released last spring and re-released in late October on 180-gram vinyl. Going vinyl was not the most frugal option nor was it the quickest. But the resulted visual appeal and increased sound capabilities were qualities that made the decision a no-brainer. This perfectly encapsulates the independent spirit of Lost Bayou Ramblers. With a variety of influences, they are steadily crafting their distinct sound.

Louisiana is the hometown source of many musical influences – Louis and Andre grew up around Cajun sounds in Pilette, LA, as their father and uncle played and performed music. Pauly and Cavan currently live in Texas, but the Cajun spirit is constant. The influences from the Cajun world that the Lost Bayou Ramblers draw upon are not purely instrumental. The work-hard play-hard mentality plays a huge role in their resulting music. More than a specific genre label, the fun-loving Cajun attitude is best represented by the band.

As Cavan shared, “We don’t try to follow the trends or what you think it will sound like. We are not concerned with particular allegiance to certain things that don’t really reflect us. The main thing we do is embrace the idea of having a good time.”

Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious upon first listen. People should not feel pressured to be well-versed in Cajun music in order to enjoy the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Misconceptions of Cajun being solely country or difficult to understand should be thrown out the window. Prior knowledge of the Cajun culture would only enhance one’s listening, but it is not mandatory. There is a large rock and roll element in particular to Mammoth Waltz.

The ideal Lost Bayou Rambler listener will be an expert in one field: enjoying life. This inclusive approach has caught the eye and ear of many. Lost Bayou Ramblers have played in a variety of spaces, from small venues to the South By Southwest Music Festival. In 2008, the group was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music category. It was the first year that the Grammys had that category. Their list of collaborators is quite varied as well; most recently with Scarlett Johansson on vocals for two tracks on the latest album. And to top it all off, their music was recently heard in the film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won the Sundance grand jury prize last January. Many accomplishments, consistent humility, and a proclivity for joyfulness are some of the many positive qualities that the Lost Bayou Ramblers possess.

The intrigue level of Lost Bayou Ramblers is definitely high. They sing in primarily Cajun French, rock out, and make you want to dance. While there are influences for their music, the result is purely unique. Often cited as “Cajun punk,” Lost Bayou Ramblers simply make you feel good, regardless if you understand why.

The band performs at The Wild Buffalo on Dec. 10 and are quite excited. Having only traveled to the Northwest a few other times, this performance will definitely be notable. As we discussed the importance of bringing raincoats, Cavan excitedly stated, “We know less about Bellingham than you do about Louisiana!” Bellingham, let’s give these fine folks a warm welcome.