The Cajun Fire of Feufollet
A new generation of musicians are embracing their roots in Acadiana, but none with the rock-and-roll edge of Feufollet
From outside, the Blue Moon Saloon, just off the long stretch of highway between New Orleans and Houston, in Lafayette, Louisiana, looks like any other roadhouse. You can see some string lights out front. Some people mill about; others play accordions on the porch.
But the music coming from the back sounds different from what’s on the porch. You can hear the bass from the road. On this Saturday night, the rough enclosure that is the performance space is packed. The band onstage is Feufollet. They’re playing “Au Fond du Lac,” a mesmerizing, dark song written by lead singer Anna Laura Edmiston about a lover trapped at the bottom of a lake. It’s hard and fast. You can dance to it.
You can see the sky through a hole in the roof and the audience in a Pabst Blue Ribbon mirror on the wall. At the front, they’re doing an indie rock shuffle, and a little bit farther back some are trying their best to do Cajun swing in the tight crowd. At the bar, chatter is equal parts English and French. This is where Cajun culture lives.
At center stage is vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Chris Stafford, who at twenty-four is a young Cajun blossoming into rock band frontmanhood: black hair starting to flop over his eyes, beard just coming in to form a seventies goatee. He’s been performing for nearly two decades, but he maintains a sparkle-eyed surprise at the mere presence of an audience. “Everyone clap your hands on this beat!” he says, clapping out a little rhythm. “At this part, say ‘Ca-jun!’”