Music certainly knows no boundaries. Texas Music Matters recently explored the connections between Texas and Louisiana sounds; even with natural and political borders, both cultures mixed together to develop wholly new genres. Lost Bayou Ramblers come straight out of this bouillabaisse.
Formed in Pilette, Louisiana in 1999, the group has taken a long, crooked road to where they are today. They started out playing primarily Cajun music in bars around their south Louisiana home. Subsequent touring took them to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Nashville’s International Country Music Conference. In 2008, Lost Bayou Ramblers were nominated for a Grammy in the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music category for their live album Live: A La Blue Moon.
But the band didn’t want to be pigeonholed in that “traditional” category. Last year, the group tapped the Violent Femmes frontman Gordon Gano to produce their fifth studio album. The result is Mammoth Waltz, a record that combines their roots with punk-like fervor and traces of rock and psychedelia. Dr. John, members of GIVERS, and longtime fan Scarlett Johansson all contributed to the album’s party-like atmosphere. 2012 only got bigger for the band after several of their songs were featured in the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Suffice to say, Lost Bayou Ramblers are providing a vital bridge between past and future. They recently stopped by KUTX’s Studio 1A and unveiled their new direction with a raucous rendition of the Who’s “My Generation.” Sung in a mixture of French and Cajun, “Ma Generation” sports accordion and fiddle, but it’s no less powerful or pertinent, thanks to the convention-defying Lost Bayou Ramblers. And it sounds especially good today, the first day of Mardi Gras. Heureux de Mardi Gras, y’all.