Michot’s Melody Makers
Sinking City Records
Michot’s Melody Makers are basically a trio lead by Louis Michot, however he is always willing to add others to the mix, so right away you know he is fluid, flexible, and willing to experiment. On this disc we have Louis Michot being lead singer and playing fiddle, we also Bryan Webre – electric and up right bass, chock guitar (Chock Guitar” refers to a style of playing rhythm acoustic guitar in cajun music, a constant pounding of bass grunge to keep the rhythm and cords moving – places the emphasis on the ones) and sampler; Kirkland Middleton – drums, t-fer, and sampler; Mark Bingham – electric guitar. There are three special guests adding their talents Colby Leger – accordion on #3; Ashlee Michot – t-fer on #s 1 & 5; and Chad Faulk – percussion #s 1 & 6. So he is variable and adaptable, as well as creating something new out of the old by taking us back to what it was like when it was old but, with some modern touches that make it sound older but at the same time like something new again. We were kind of surprised by the disc that we appreciated it so much, because frankly there was some trepidation when we slid it in.
This disc was recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana this past summer; produced and engineered by Korey Richey who Louis had worked with on projects that the Lost Bayou Ramblers had done. The sound is crisp and clean and at times startling, but in a way that lays fears of the new displacing the old to rest, because it enhances the sound of the old and clarifies it. A startling concept that is to be applauded, rather than vilified. The changes aren’t violent, rather subdued but suddenly the back of you head is slapped in a way that wakes you up in a startled fashion, and you realize you are listening with a renewed awareness and that something in the music did slap you. It did try to hurt you but subtly force you to pay attention because something is different and involving you!
It is not jarringly different, rather interestingly different and a welcome new look at the way things can be done. Those of you that are old enough to remember the reaction when Dylan first went electric; happens that we were at The Newport Folk Festival in 1963 when that happened! Boos and screams reigned down on the band and they just played through it. The purists that resist change almost won the day, but Mr. Dylan persisted, and in the long run won the day. There isn’t the same level of hysteria here, however feel sure that somewhere there are purists that are rueing the day they heard this change to their way. We will see what happens in the grand scheme of things. Yes, there are some differences, but nothing jarringly so, but rather interestingly and engagingly different. An opening of new vistas so alternative ways can be explored.
by bob gottlieb