Though Alexis & the Samurai has been getting the bulk of the media attention since they began playing to packed houses on Monday nights at Chickie Wah Wah, the two principals in that duo also lead this much bigger band.
Sweet Crude is the sometimes-Francophone seven piece band led by Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft. The band sings some of their songs in French but that is as close to Cajun music as the indie rock group gets.
After a recent performance, Marceaux explained why there is no accordion or frottoir (rubboard) in the group despite their affinity for the music of parts west of here. Paraphrasing here—she said that the band is interested in helping to sustain the Cajun French language of south Louisiana while staying true to their progressive musical focus.
The first time I saw them play was at Tipitina’s, and I was impressed by their musicianship as well as the way the crowd got involved. It reminded me of seeing bands from Brazil or Africa that sing in languages that are unfamiliar to English speakers. As long as the music moves the crowd, it doesn’t matter what language the lyrics are in.
Regardless of the origins and intent of the band, this is a group that brings fun and intensity to their performances. With multiple drummers, the group is nothing short of tribal. Catch them while you can because this band is going places.
Sweet Crude has a Saturday night gig at Chickie Wah Wah on September 21, 2013.