By ERIC SCHELKOPF
The excitement and energy that Grammy nominated rock influenced Cajun band Lost Bayou Ramblers generates on stage is documented on the band's new live album, "Gasa Gasa Live," which will be released Sept. 30.
In support of the new album, Lost Bayou Ramblers will perform Oct. 5 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15, available at www.citywinery.com/chicago.
I had the chance to talk to the band about the new album.
Q - Great talking to you. Your last live album, "Live A La Blue Moon," was released in 2007. Was it just the right time to do another live album? What was it about that show at Gasa Gasa that made you want to record it?
The beauty of "Gasa Gasa Live" is that we didn't know the show was being recorded in multi-track, so we weren't at all self-conscious. It was our third show that day, we were on fire, and it was our first time to perform at Gasa Gasa, and we had an amazing show, so when they told us they recorded it we knew it was worth a listen.
It really is a perfect snapshot of where we've come in our live show since the release of "Mammoth Waltz."
Q - The album features a new song from your upcoming studio album. What should people expect from the new album? Are you following in the same direction as your last album, "Mammoth Waltz?"
We're definitely picking where we left off with "Mammoth Waltz." As much as "Mammoth Waltz" was a huge step from our previous albums, it was a natural progression, not an overnight remake.
It's all about embracing our generation, and not trying to freeze tradition in time, but to grow it and keep it alive.
Q - On your last album, you add more rock influences into the mix. What were your goals for the album and do you think you accomplished them? Did you think that the album would be so well received?
The goal for "Mammoth Waltz" was to create new songs that were exactly what we wanted to hear, with no censorship, no filter, or no fear of it not being traditional or Cajun. We brought back tunes from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and brought new originals, but it's hard to tell which is which.
Much of the album was recorded during the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010, which no doubt had a lot of influence on the lyrics of the album.
It's all about expressing our experience in this time, not trying to re-live another era.
Q - The album also features a number of guest stars, including Dr. John, Scarlett Johansson and Gordon Gano from the Violent Femmes. What do you think they brought to the table?
All three of our guests were organic relationships, and they all happened at different points in the recording process. We were influenced by all three musically ("Anywhere I Lay My Head" was a big influence on me at the time) and knew their contributions would all take the songs to another level, and they did.
Their artistic contributions are as heavy as their names, and we're lucky that such amazing people were game to share their art with us.
Q - The band is also featured on the soundtrack to "Beasts of the Southern Wild." What was that experience like and do you think being part of that project has widened your audience?
We recorded the very first tracks to the "Beasts" soundtrack, and they built off of them creating the score, so we had no idea what to expect from either the film or the music. When it finally came out, we were blown away.
The movie is an amazing portrayal of the situation in South Louisiana, and it definitely exposed our music to many people that may have never heard us otherwise.
Q - What do you think of the New Orleans music scene these days?
New Orleans is exploding, musicians both famous and unknown are moving there every day, because it's so alive, and has so much prolific creation going on all the time. It's always been an inspiring place for artists, and we're no exception; New Orleans is our artistic home.
Q - Does the band have any dream projects or collaborations?
Many! Daniel Lanois always comes to mind, as I think he would connect with our story and sound, and seems to be a very cool person to be around, after meeting him a few weeks ago in Canada.