Go See the Best Folk Show in Chicago This Month

The Lost Bayou Ramblers will play their unique style of Cajun sound at City Winery on Sunday night.

Photo: Courtesy Lost Bayou Ramblers

This Sunday, you can go see one of the most well-crafted folk-fusion shows of the month. City Winery is hosting the Lost Bayou Ramblers, a group that started with acoustic Cajun traditions and then married those impulses with their modern-world musical tastes.

The group came up with an exciting sound that stays reverent to Cajun tradition. Last year they released Mammoth Waltz, an album that is equal parts messy, focused and inventive. The album features a broad spectrum of help: Louisiana native guru Dr. John, Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano, and the perplexing (but admittedly cool) vocal help of Scarlett Johansson on a few tracks.

Still, the magic happening in this music is clearly a creation all their own. The lyrics are heavily French Creole, the rhythms thick and danceable, and the accordion/string compositions are uplifting in their frenzied movements. As far as folk fusion groups go, this band represents the immensely satisfying balance of modern techniques and heartfelt traditionalism in a way that is loud and fun.

The night starts with Chicago’s ragtime country-rock group Devil in a Woodpile, and there will be a Cajun menu as part of WNUR’s Gumbo and Cab Fest. The Ramblers play the outdoor stage at 5, and take the indoor stage at 6:30.

July 28 at City Winery, 1200 W Randolph, citywinery.com; $10.

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