CNN honored the memory of Anthony Bourdain by airing one of the final episodes of his Parts Unknown show yestsrday, Sunday June 17 – his look at the local food, music and cultural traditions of this amazing area.

Among the music featured were locals, Lost Bayou Ramblers, who are shown performing during a crawfish boil. The band’s singer/fiddler Louis Michot made the following statement about this bittersweet  appearance, filmed in February 2018:

“We’re extremely honored to be featured on Anthony Bourdain’s trip through South Louisiana. His presence inspired an authenticity as well as a blast of creativity among the artists and chefs who were involved, and the party we had in Grand Coteau was one for the books. The mud that was flying from the boots sloshing on the dancefloor, which had turned into swamp from the heavy mardi gras rains, can still be found in the cracks of our instruments, and on the speakers of our amps. This is a memory that will last; mud and music, food and friends.”

This is passage comes from his opening narration.

“The thundering hooves of many horses, the sound of a thousand beer cans popping open. And music, always music.

There are parts of America that are special, unique, unlike anywhere else. Cultures all their own, kept close, much loved but largely misunderstood. The vast patchwork of saltwater marshes, bayous, and prairie land that make up Cajun country is one of those places.

While the rest of the USA got stitched together by superhighways, southwestern Louisiana remained relatively isolated. I-10 wasn’t completed until the 1970s, finally connecting this part of the state with New Orleans, Houston, and the rest of the nation. With that came chain restaurants, drive-throughs, and strip malls. But fear not-it’s still magnificently weird.

Take, for example, Cajun Mardi Gras. Ordinarily, I loathe the idea of Mardi Gras. Any kind of group celebration, anything festive involving dancing fills me with self-conscious dread. Thousands of happy drunks crowding into the French Quarter, for instance? Not for me.

But Cajun Mardi Gras is another thing entirely-closer to the ancient French tradition, vaguely more dangerous, downright medieval. Cajuns do things their way, always have, always will. Whether it’s hanging on to the French language of their ancestors, their music traditions, or food, Cajuns fiercely keep it all vibrantly alive.”

This story includes three excerpts, the last including the Ramblers’ performance:

https://www.eater.com/2018/6/13/17461720/anthony-bourdain-cajun-mardi-gras-parts-unknown-preview 

 

https://explorepartsunknown.com/southern-louisiana/bourdains-field-notes-southern-louisiana/

 

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