Gasa Gasa, according to the press releases for Gasa Gasa Live, is Japanese for “a rustling sound in nature. Something you might hear before crossing paths with a tiger. It’s also used to describe someone unfocused and rough.” It is also the name of the club in New Orleans where, on May 2, 2014, Lost Bayou Ramblers played their first show and later discovered, to their surprise, that the club had recorded the whole thing. It was a magical night for band and audience, and so we have Gasa Gasa Live.
The Lost Bayou Ramblers are Louis Michot on fiddle and vocals, Andre Michot on accordion and lap steel, Pauly Deathwish on drums and vocals, and Cavan Carruth on guitar and vocals. While they are firmly rooted in traditional Cajun music, they are dedicated to them to sometimes be referred to as a “Cajun punk” band. Certainly they do sometimes have the ferocity of a tiger and they can be a bit unfocused and rough, which only adds to the excitement of this live venture.
Just listen to the high-energy level on songs like “Cote Gelee,” “French Blues,” “Hot Shoes,” “Carolina Blues,” “O Bye” and “Blues de Bernadette” and you know you’ve got something spectacularly different here. Despite the fact that this was the band’s third show that day, there is not a moment of let up or lag from any one of them.
I defy anyone not to move their feet to “Acadian Waltz” or the traditional “Pine Grove Blues,” given just a bit more of a modern edge here but still recalling the community fais-do-do.
This recording has more prominent drums than earlier ones, and it does not suffer for it. The group still puts the emphasis on fiddle and guitar, but electric bass has replaced acoustic bass and the modern instruments are a little more prominent than they have been in the past.
If you are bothered by not being able to understand lyrics, you may run into a problem here unless you speak Cajun, as all of the vocals are in that language. This group may mix in some rock with their traditional sound but it is still first and foremost a celebration of Cajun music. Just let go and soak up the energy and the good vibes of this album and you’ll understand everything you need to understand.
This CD is recommended for anyone with a love and appreciation for Cajun music and other heavy, energetic Americana.
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