January 6th was 12th Night, the first day of Carnival season, a period of partying parades and self indulgences that climaxes, and theoretically ends on Mardi Gras. To celebrate here’s a video of Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers performing live at Preservation Hall in New Orleans — the next best thing to being there.
Meanwhile the Ramblers will be accompanying original Pogues members Spider Stacy and Cait O’Riordan, on their first proper tour of select U.S. markets playing the iconic songs of the Pogues under the banner of “Poguetry.” The Ramblers will be playing their own set to kick shows off.
Spider has been singing and playing tin whistle backed by the Ramblers since 2015 and in 2018 added O’Riordan to the mix after they played together again at Shane MacGowan’s 60th birthday celebrations at the Irish National Concert Hall that year.
The Pogues emerged out of London in the early 1980’s, playing an incendiary music that merged punk rock ferocity and Irish lyricism, an intoxicating rush of accordions, banjos and tin whistles driven by a locked-tight rock n roll rhythm section and gathering lifelong fans along the way including Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and The Clash’s Joe Strummer — who even fronted the band for a while.
Spider relocated to New Orleans 10 years ago where he has been slowly working on a Pogues Musical with The Deuce and The Wire production team David Simon and George Pelecanos, and New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman.
“I saw the Ramblers play back in 2011 and immediately recognized them as kindred spirits,” says Stacy. “I felt they’d be a fantastic vehicle to give the old songs some new life. I’m not ready to stop playing live but at the same time I don’t think the world needs any new music from me, so this works nicely. Bringing Cáit in just took us up another level.”
This pairing has given stand-out
Lafayette, Louisiana’s Grammy-winning Lost Bayou Ramblers just celebrated their 20th anniversary as a group. They released a deluxe DVD/CD package comprising the On Va Continuer! documentary on the band and its mission to preserve and promote the Cajun French culture and language through their music and the Asteur live album recorded in 7 venues around New Orleans.
*Feature image Zack Smith