On Va Continuer is the newly released documentary film about the Lost Bayou Ramblers, the Grammy-winning Cajun band out of Lafayette. The band is made up of Louis Michot on fiddle and lead vocals; his brother Andre on accordion and lap steel; Jonny Campos on electric guitar and pedal steel; Eric Heigle on acoustic guitar, drums, and sampler; Bryan Webre on bass guitar; and Kirkland Middleton on drums.
Filmmakers Bruno Doria and Lizzie Guitreau followed these guys around for three whole years, recording them while they did everything from play gigs and win their Grammy to spend time with their families and launch a boat in Bayou Teche. The film, therefore, introduces us to the band on both a personal and a musical level, whether it’s watching Andre tune his accordion or getting to see Louis make his famous homemade “hamdogs”: a tasty hamburger/hotdog hybrid.
On Va Continuer also focuses on Cajun culture and the Cajun French language in particular. The Michot brothers are quick to point out how important French is, not only to their music, but to the Cajun heritage and the state of Louisiana as a whole. According to the film, the number of French speakers in the state dropped by 80 percent in 50 years, but the Lost Bayou Ramblers are hoping to help it experience a revival.
This is an excellent film for anyone who loves music or French or Louisiana. Some of it is hard to watch, like the footage of the 2016 flooding in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, but mostly you’ll want to laugh, cheer, and dance.
On Va Continuer is showing tonight as part of the 22nd French Film Festival at the Prytania Theatre and is scheduled to be screened again in March on TV5Monde, available on Cox cable. For more information on the film, click HERE.