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Louis Michot (on fiddle) and brother Andre (on the accordion) will be taking the stage this Saturday at the Le Festival de la Viande Boucaneè with their band Lost Bayou Ramblers. The Cajun French band will be performing at 8:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Lost Bayou Ramblers)

Grammy nominated Lost Bayou Ramblers discuss their distinctive style, film projects

By: RAYMOND PARTSCH III
Managing Editor

“Yeah. It is an amazing phenomenon how many musicians from Southwest Louisiana come from a musical family.” ­- Louis Michot

Lost Bayou Ramblers are returning to the Le Festival de la Viande Boucaneè.
The Louisiana-based Cajun French band was formed in 1999 by brothers Andre and Louis Michot, who learned traditional Cajun music from playing the bass guitar and triangle in their family’s popular band, Les Frères Michot. The Michot brothers though took the Cajun music they were raised with and added sonic influences from other genres, including psychedelic rock, Texas blues, punk rock, and rockabilly to create their own distinctive sound.
Lost Bayou Ramblers consist of Louis Michot (fiddle and vocals), Andre Michot (accordion and lap steel), Eric Heigle (drums), Korey Richey (bass guitar) and Johnny Campos (electric guitar). LBR will take the stage on Saturday, June 25th at 8:30 p.m.
In the nearly two decades since their inception, LBR has developed a large following from New Orleans to Brooklyn, New York and was nominated for a Grammy for 2007’s “Live a la Blue Moon”.
The band’s signature album to date is 2012’s “Mammoth Waltz”, which featured such notable guest artists as actress-singer Scarlett Johnansson, New Orleans legend Dr. John and Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano and French actress-singer Nora Arnezeder.
Louis Michot took some time out of the band’s current summer tour to discuss growing up in a musical family, providing music for the Oscar-nominated film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and once again playing in Ville Platte.
Question: With the background that you and your brother share, does it seem like it was destined that the two of you would end up as musicians?
Answer: Yeah. It is an amazing phenomenon how many musicians from Southwest Louisiana come from a musical family. All that time spent around the music and playing with our father and uncle definitely formed us musically. We learned hundreds of songs without really even knowing it at the time. It was definitely a training ground for us.”
Q: So I guess that means that you and your brother always imagined yourselves making this a living?
A: (He laughs) No. I don’t think either of us expected this to become part of the main way we make a living. But here we are 17 years later and we want more.”
Q: LBR is without a doubt a Cajun French band but there are definitely other influences in the band’s sound. How would you describe the band’s sound?
A: Andre and I always call ourselves a Cajun band and that is what we are 100 percent. We have been playing the traditional music for so long but we also love other types of music too. We have gotten really comfortable with those other genres of music that we add those influences into our music.”
Q: How did you get involved with helping create some of the music for “The Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which was written and directed by Benh Zeitlin?
A: We play a lot in New Orleans because there is so much work there and appreciation for our work there. Benh had come to see us play all the time. When he was making the sound track he came to us and said ‘we can’t have this happen without Lost Bayou Ramblers’. We went to a recording studio in Lafayette and gave them about two hours and they built a beautiful score around it.”
Q: What projects are LBR currently working on?
A: We have a new album in the works but we are taking our time with it. We also have a documentary and some movies that we are working with it. We are really proud of being involved with PBS’s four-part mini-series “American Epic.” We are performing on the same microphone and 78 RPMrecording system that some of the first Cajun recordings were recorded on.”
Q: How excited are you and your band mates about playing the Smoked Meat Festival again?
A: We are looking forward to it. My in-laws are from Ville Platte. We got a lot of family over there. There are two ways to measure a gig. One of course is financially and the other is how much fun the concert is. If it is not going to be fun you got to make a little more money. It is the best when you get a good bit of both and that is the case with the Smoked Meat Festival.”

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