Cajun music with Enossification??? Yep, that's exactly what happens here, among myriad other applications. In the Lost Bayou Ramblers' Mammoth Waltz, I coulda sworn in the first couple of tracks that I was listening to Beausoleil or some kindred cat infusing either Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy or some of Eno's early Roxy experimentalism into a juiced-up punkified midnight revel in the mangrove swamps of the deep South. True to its name, Mammoth Waltz has the lugubrious stomp and ponderous rumble of that most ancient of beasts while capering about in Bacchanalian revelry. Andre Michot jumps to the top of the instrumental pile to shout and yelp like a bootlegger who just sampled his own wares and cannot hold back, bursting with joie de vivre, vin de vie, and a pronounced tendency to plying a rough but infectious 'Cordine…that he built!
Brother Louis Michot traipses along right behind him on fiddle, bass, t-fer (huh?), and vermillion paddle (wha???) while Cavan Carruh tackles the guitars in a strange way Phil Manzanera will be beaming over. Pauly Deathwish Etheredge mans the percussives, Korey Richie handles programming, some guitar, bass, percussives, and keyboards, and Alan Lafleur trundles the contrabass back and forth. The ensemble is neighborly sloppy, clatterous while never missing a beat, boasting rock inflections and unflagging energy. If you liked the Pogues, these Bayou bad-asses are right up your alley.
More than once, I was reminded of The Woes for the same thick, rough, lumpenproletariat approach, a really greasy festive spirit that wallows in primal ooze and backwoods eros while leaping to and fro, dancing a jig, hootin' 'n hollerin'. That the rootline mixture is quite successful is witnessed in the fact that Dr. John, Scarlett Johanssen, Gordon Gano, Nora Ardenezer, and others join in on the sonically ribald vibe. There's also, though, a way cool recurring beat that was elsewhere heard in fugitive songs like Tokoloshe Man (John Kongos), Feel Too Good (The Move), Get Your Rocks Off (Manfred Mann's take on Dylan's groove), and too few other venues. It's a rare pace and manifestation the Ramblers maintain, one that grabs you by the ears and tush (or, en française: le derriere) and won't let go, so if you're feeling just a mite punchy as the year draws to a close, grab this along with yer Red Bull 'n git ready to wax uproarious.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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