The Lost Bayou Ramblers: Rockumentary – On Va Continuer! (DVD) & Asteur (CD)
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I just got this in the mail today and immediately popped the CD into the player. I was taken by the beautiful sound quality of the CD. For a live album, the sound is brilliant and expertly mixed. That may not seem like much, but if those two things aren’t right, it can completely ruin a listening experience. And when I finally focused on the music, I was immediately transfixed and transported right to Tipitina’s in NOLA, where this was recorded. “Asteur” is crackling with energy from the first note to the last. The crowd noise adds to the frenzy.
I know The “Grammy Award winning” Lost Bayou Ramblers are not necessarily known as punk rockers, but the way they play their instruments and the amount of sweat equity they put into their performances are certainly in the punk rock spirit. Just take one listen to Bosco Stomp – New Iberia Haircut (Track 2)and you can feel the punk energy from the band as well as the audience. The fiddle and accordion on this track are absolutely spellbinding.
No band from the Bayou would have any credibility if they didn’t have a song about Mardi Gras. The Lost Bayou Ramblers have a song, except they call it“Le Mardi Gras”(Track 15). This song commences with, you guessed it, accordion and fiddle. And the groove is infectious. It is impossible to sit still or not dance when you hear this number. There is definitely a Pied Piper quality to this song.
Granny Smith (Track 5) is another wonderful representation of the rich history and culture of the Bayou. I just feel it. I can smell the gumbo and jambalaya cooking. I can see people dancing and having a good time. I can feel the alcohol pulse through my veins to add to the excitement and revelry. This is not a song as much as it is an experience.
The DVD included, “On Va Continuer!” is a 50 minute documentary about the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ efforts to preserve their culture and way of life. It includes the music, food, drink, social gatherings and other activities that really differentiate the Bayou lifestyle from any other place in the US or the world. It is that unique and worth preserving.