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Nos Mama Rosin au bord d'la piscine
Par Fabrice Gottraux. Mis à jour le 04.02.2013

En concert dimanche à la piscine du Lignon, le groupe genevois de cajun rock a fait un carton.

Au concours du plus beau groupe en tenue de piscine-exception faite des t-shirt mouillés-les Mama Rosin l'emporte haut la main. Sans jeux de mots. Parce que c'est rock, que ça déménage, que ça fuse, ça couine et ça guinche, le concert proposé par le groupe genevois d'ascendant cajun a fait un carton dimanche dans la piscine du Lignon, transformée à l'enseigne du festival Antigel en club éphémère.

Comme cet autre fou des guitares électriques, Hanni El Khatib, l'an passé au même endroit, la prestation des Mama Rosin file droit au but, faisant fi de l'écho turbulent propagé à travers la piscine. Au contraire du concert de Breton, il y a une semaine au même endroit également (son plus fade, ambiance plus molle), l'effet est ici même bénéfique: très diversifié dans ses choix musicaux, le trio, tour à tour blues, folk, voire un chouia pop, gagnait de la sorte une dimension "stadium". Comme sur les chaîne hi-fi, quand on appuie sur un bouton, et hop!, le gros machin vibrant, suant, pétaradant se met en route. Sauf qu'ici, c'est en vrai.

Avantage aux musiciens du bout du lac: ils n'ont pas la grosse tête et savent prendre du bon temps. Des Mama Rosin qui donnaient là leur premier concert genevois après la sortie d'un retentissant album à l'automne dernier. Intitulée Bye Bye Bayou, cette galette enregistrée à New York chez Jon Spencer a envoyé le groupe dans une dimension supérieure. Le live, enfin, s'avère certes moins ambitieux mais pas moins bon. Excellent, même. - La Tribune de Genève


Un nouvel album et une tournée qui sentent le bayou le prouvent : Mama Rosin est bien le meilleur groupe suisse du monde.

Cette fois-ci, on a bien cru que c’était la fin. Des illusions, des magasins de disques, de l’esprit des pionniers, de la joie enfantine de découvrir un nouveau groupe et croire qu’il pourrait changer le monde, même intérieur. Depuis quelques années, trop de rétromania, trop de coups sans lendemain, trop de groupes soldés comme des accessoires de mode, trop de musique et pas assez de rêves.

Mais alors que montent les eaux froides et vaines du mainstream, qui engloutissent chaque jour un peu plus les derniers îlots de Beauté, de Vérité et de Liberté, on aperçoit au loin (pas si loin en fait : en Suisse) un petit esquif qui semble résister, sur lequel c’est encore la fête, d’où nous parvient l’écho d’une passion pure, non feinte. Ce n’est pas désespéré, ce n’est pas l’orchestre du Titanic. Plutôt celui de l’arche de Noé. Et Dieu dit à Noé : “Les animaux, on s’en fout ; tu sauveras du Déluge le blues du bayou, le groove des Caraïbes, le rock’n’roll des origines, la flamme du rock psychédélique et l’esprit du punk-rock. Puis tu les laisseras se reproduire en liberté.”

Noé, c’est Robin Girod, le chanteur-guitariste du trio genevois Mama Rosin. Il ressemble à un Robinson Crusoé qui serait arrivé sur l’île déserte avec ses deux potes et une carte au trésor à la main. Ils sont trois, comme les petits cochons plus forts que le loup, comme les mousquetaires, comme l’Elvis divin des Sun Sessions.

Ils ont trouvé leur nom, Mama Rosin, dans une antique (1956) chanson de Nathan Abshire & Little Yvonne LeBlanc. “C’est une chanson avec une lap-steel country, un bandonéon cajun, un beat calypso, un batteur rock’n’roll et une fille qui chante en français avec une voix de gamine. Dans ce morceau, il y a tout ce qu’on allait chercher dans les années à venir, sans le savoir”, raconte Robin. Robin ne savait pas non plus qu’un jour Mama Rosin allait se retrouver à jouer en Chine, en Amérique ou au Brésil, puis dans le studio new-yorkais de Jon Spencer.

La genèse selon Cyril Yeterian, l’accordéoniste du groupe : “On a commencé il y a cinq ans dans des bars, on a toujours adoré la musique vivante, les chants de marins. Un jour, dans un festival français de musique trad, ambiance lutherie, on a croisé des vieux punks anglais édentés qui reprenaient des morceaux cajuns. Cette musique, le vieux folk francophone de Louisiane, pour résumer, nous a semblé encore plus forte que le blues. On a commencé à l’apprendre, sans chercher à imiter, mais en se demandant ce qui nous touchait là-dedans. Au début, tu sais ce que tu aimes, mais tu ne sais pas où aller.”

Mama Rosin défriche son chemin. Cajun dans le style, punk dans l’esprit : un groupe de cajunks. En Suisse, ils rejoignent d’abord la paroisse de Reverend Beat-Man, figure culte de l’underground rock’n’roll, qui sort leurs premiers albums sur son label Voodoo Rhythm. Aujourd’hui, après une grosse tournée en Angleterre, Mama Rosin est prêt à sortir du maquis (de Louisiane et de “groupe pour spécialistes”).

Ils ont donc enregistré leur nouvel album, le bien du rock’n’roll Jon Spencer, du Blues Explosion. On reconnaît sa patte et ses coups de griffe. Ce disque est une claque, un coup de foudre. Treize chansons comme des petites machines à voyager dans l’espace-temps, sous une pluie d’astéroïdes. Une jungle psychédélique où l’on croise l’âme et les mythes de l’Amérique primitive (ceux-là mêmes qui ont jadis hanté Creedence Clearwater Revival, le Gun Club ou Alan Vega).

De la réverb comme des ondes de chaleur qui montent de la route. Des riffs d’accordéon comme si Keith Richards avait appris à en jouer. Des mélodies qui font des loopings comme dans le meilleur rock slacker américain. Ce groupe est une éponge double face : l’une absorbe, l’autre gratte. Mama Rosin semble avoir fondu tous les âges d’or pour créer son propre trésor. “On est bloqués pour toujours dans le monde indestructible de la passion, pas un matin où on se réveille sans avoir envie d’avancer sur nos projets”, résume Robin avant de prendre feu. On a cru que c’était la fin : ce n’est que le début. - Les Inrocks



Mama Rosin, Jazz Café
The Swiss trio continue to prove you can go retro while remaining cutting-edge
by Howard MaleSunday, 14 October 2012
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Mama Rosin: a live band that'll blow you away

For several years now this Swiss trio have been combining their love of old Cajun and Zydeco tunes with an arthouse-meets-punk aesthetic strongly influenced by the Velvet Underground and The Clash. But it’s only with their new album Bye Bye Bayou (released this week) that they’ve landed upon a sound that fully celebrates both their love of scratchy, trashy old records and their need also to be adventurously 21st-century. But the album is a sonic balancing act that relies somewhat on production by the Blues Explosion’s Jon Spencer to make sure that, although envelopes are stretched, they are never torn to pieces. So can the band replicate it successfully live?

The answer is yes with cowbells on. Well actually, no cowbells, but drummer Xavier Bray is a mean hand at many other percussive effects including a perverse use of brushes on one or two tough up-tempo rockers that the average drummer would be battering away with sticks on. But Bray is far from an average drummer, just as Mama Rosin’s other two members are far from average with their varied contributions. Up front stands Robin Girod on guitar, banjo and washboard, and Cyril Yeterian on melodeon, fiddle and occasional guitar. Both spend most of the gig jumping and jerking about the stage as if an electric current is continuously oscillating between them.

To the untrained ear, one melodeon might sound much the same as another; Yeterian alternates between at least three of them

Instruments are constantly changed according to the needs of the song. For example, nothing less than a Les Paul will do for Girod when they play the “Get It On”-meets-“Suffragette City” rock out, “Sorry Ti Monde”. And while, to the untrained ear, one melodeon might sound much the same as another, Yeterian alternates between at least three of them during the set. But it’s not the fact that they make such an incendiary sound and can get a crowd dancing; it’s that they have applied themselves seriously to the greater art of refining their arrangements and writing well crafted songs.

For example, it’s hard to believe the absurdly catchy “Mailou” isn’t some 1960s rock‘n’roll classic, rather than a new song written as a tribute to Girod’s young niece. She should be proud. One of the pleasures of the band’s mix of slinky Louisiana blues and post-Velvets experimentation comes from when they’re holding back, as much as when they’re playing full throttle - Girod’s fractured melancholic banjo work on the tenderly sad “I Don’t Feel at Home”, or the spacious, spaced-out swamp dub (one has to invent new genres to accurately discuss Mama Rosin’s music) of “Black Samedi” in which the lead guitar groans, cries and splutters like some dying prehistoric beast.

Lo-fi of course is nothing new, but these vinyl evangelists are not just interested in the notion that distortion denotes authenticity; they really revel in the textural sensuality of the sublime racket they make. But never, I hasten to add, at the expense of creating a great get-up-and-dance vibe.

The audience at the Jazz Café included a rather “merry” contingent of hardcore fans on a day-return from the Essex town of Wivenhoe who were understandably thrilled to have a song on the Bye Bye Bayou named after their humble homestead. Maybe the name “Wivenhoe” has a romantic dimension for these Geneva lads that we can never appreciate. But no matter, the tune rocked, the Essex contingent rocked to it, and as with every Mama Rosin gig I’ve attended, everyone went home buzzing. - artdesk.com


This would be Jack White's favourite band!!!
Mama Rosin **** mixing old genres up in a mixing pot!!! they have Blues and old late 60's and early 70's Rock influences and they play it like it's current, but this band a far from that. They are young and they are taking you back in time faster than Matt Smith!!!. 'Bye, Bye Bayou' is a album coming from the deep south and you get a feel of paddle steamers and people chilling playing music on wash boards on their porches and this band even bring out this instrument.

They jam with it onstage in a totally natural way!!!. The music comes from the heart, Yes! the heart of the deep south where Jack White got so many of his influences from, and working with bands like Mama Rosin on his Third Man Records label. Jack would love this band and would be raving about them and you could see them playing TV shows such as 'Later... with Jools Holland' and him putting a little boogy woogy piano to their songs. If your into Bluegrass you will love this cause they mix that in with their Rock elements which could easily be rubbed off an old Led Zeppelin record or even a song by modern day rockers The Answer. I don't really know why they are on the bill tonight with Indie / Folk hero's Bellowhead but it seems to work with a lot of the audience really getting into them, with them even queuing up to buy their LP's in the interval it's such a big queue to buy them and the band happily sign every copy.

This band are going to go far in a world were nostalgia is really in, you would not tell that this was a newish band because the sound is so perfectly placed. The alarming thing is this band are not even American and come from the French speaking part of Switzerland, a little town called Le Carre D'amont so how they got this sound so perfect I have no idea. I will be honest and say if I was going to listen to a band like this I probably would pick up something that was recorded at the time the sound was created but for someone that loves this genre and wants to discover a new band, I would highly recommend Mama Rosin. Their a great young band with so much to offer and I think they will do so many interesting things in the future so are one to watch.

Review and Photo's by Dan Devour
Check Out! the headline band Bellowhead on the link Below... - Music Trespass


This would be Jack White's favourite band!!!
Mama Rosin **** mixing old genres up in a mixing pot!!! they have Blues and old late 60's and early 70's Rock influences and they play it like it's current, but this band a far from that. They are young and they are taking you back in time faster than Matt Smith!!!. 'Bye, Bye Bayou' is a album coming from the deep south and you get a feel of paddle steamers and people chilling playing music on wash boards on their porches and this band even bring out this instrument.

They jam with it onstage in a totally natural way!!!. The music comes from the heart, Yes! the heart of the deep south where Jack White got so many of his influences from, and working with bands like Mama Rosin on his Third Man Records label. Jack would love this band and would be raving about them and you could see them playing TV shows such as 'Later... with Jools Holland' and him putting a little boogy woogy piano to their songs. If your into Bluegrass you will love this cause they mix that in with their Rock elements which could easily be rubbed off an old Led Zeppelin record or even a song by modern day rockers The Answer. I don't really know why they are on the bill tonight with Indie / Folk hero's Bellowhead but it seems to work with a lot of the audience really getting into them, with them even queuing up to buy their LP's in the interval it's such a big queue to buy them and the band happily sign every copy.

This band are going to go far in a world were nostalgia is really in, you would not tell that this was a newish band because the sound is so perfectly placed. The alarming thing is this band are not even American and come from the French speaking part of Switzerland, a little town called Le Carre D'amont so how they got this sound so perfect I have no idea. I will be honest and say if I was going to listen to a band like this I probably would pick up something that was recorded at the time the sound was created but for someone that loves this genre and wants to discover a new band, I would highly recommend Mama Rosin. Their a great young band with so much to offer and I think they will do so many interesting things in the future so are one to watch.

Review and Photo's by Dan Devour
Check Out! the headline band Bellowhead on the link Below... - Music Trespass


Première grosse claque 2013 ? Mama Rosin ! Sans hésitation ! Ok, l’album est sorti fin 2012 mais le temps que ça arrive jusqu’à mes esgourdes… Mais qui sont-ils ? D’où viennent-ils ? Formidables robots des temps nouveaux (euh non merde, ça c’est Goldorak)… Les Mama Rosin n’en demeurent pas moins des extra-terrestres sur la planète rock’n’roll. Le groupe existe depuis 2007 et a déjà à son actif pas moins de cinq albums sortis chez Voodoo Rhythm Records ou sur leur propre label (Moi J’Connais Rds). Le style ? Indéfinissable ! On retrouve des influences garage, lo-fi, du rock sixties mixé avec des musiques traditionnelles du bayou (cajun, zydeco)… Un joyeux bordel à découvrir d’urgence à travers leur petit dernier Bye Bye Bayou.

Première surprise, les trois gars qui composent les Mama Rosin ne sont pas du tout "born on the bayou" comme dirait les Creedence Clearwater Revival. Ils sont born in Genève ! Des Suisses qui font du rock’n’roll cajun ! Mais quel être insensé et dépourvu de logique pourrait bien s’intéresser à eux ? Et bien, pas n’importe qui. Les gars ont tapé dans l’œil du maître des explosions de blues, Jon Spencer himself. Après quelques premières parties assurées pour le Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, voilà que Spencer s’entiche de la musique des Mama Rosin et leur propose de produire leur album : la classe, non ?





Bye Bye Bayou ? Fini le cajun ? Pas du tout ! Les Mama Rosin restent fidèle à eux même avec ce dernier album. La patte de Spencer est tangible. Le son se rapproche des premiers JSBX, savant mélange de lo-fi et d’énergie rock ‘n’ roll live mais avec ce savoir faire qui différencie le bon boulot du joyeux bordel potache.

Cet album regorge de pépites de "rock cajun". Je sais l’association est difficile à croire mais ça fonctionne. Preuve en est faite avec "Casse Mes Objets", brûlot rock’n’roll, où l’accordéon (ou plutôt le mélodéon) s’en donne à cœur joie pour nous livrer une intro digne d’un "Johnny B. Goode" ! Pas étonnant ! Souvenez-vous, dès la première ligne de "Johnny B. Goode", on situe l’action "Deep down in Lousiana...". La boucle est bouclée. Quasiment tous les morceaux sont hyper accrocheurs, il y a un vrai sens de la mélodie.





On rajoute quelques titres un peu plus dans la tradition cajun comme "Marilou" qui ouvre ce Bye Bye Bayou ou encore "I Don’t Feel At Home" dans le plus pur esprit de la Louisiane. Pas la peine de développer plus que ça. Bye Bye Bayou est bourrée de compos qui réussissent le tour de force de capter l'auditeur dès la première écoute. Pour moi, c’est un signe indéniable de qualité.

Le chant franço-suisse-cajun est terrible. On respecte les cadres de la musique cajun pour ce qui est de la partie vocale et on mixe tout ça avec une rythmique du tonnerre. Qu’est ce que c’est bon ! Il me tarde quand même de les avoir en interview pour savoir quel est leur vrai accent !

Bref, pour une fois, un groupe qui sort des sentiers battus. C’est bon de découvrir quelque chose de jamais entendu auparavant. Marre de tous ces ersatz de groupes qui ont connu leur heure de gloire dans les années 80 ou 90 ! Enfin un peu de fraîcheur. Messieurs, grâce à des gens comme vous, le rock reste toujours bien vivant. De plus on tient là des puristes de la cause rock ‘n’ roll. Les mecs ont produit tout un tas de groupes fabuleux sur leur label et je ne peux que vous inviter à aller faire un tour sur la page web de Moi J’Connais Rds... Découverte de trésors assurée !!! Keep On Rocking les gars!!! Et surtout, let the bon temps roulé !!!

Attention, pour ceux (dont je fais partie) qui voudraient voir ça de plus près, les Mama Rosin font escale en France cette semaine ! Faut pas les rater !
- La Grosse Radio



Mama Rosin: Some like it hot

Mama Rosin are reinvigorating Cajun music – from a farm near Geneva. They talk ducks, chillis and frottoirs with Alfred Hickling

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Alfred Hickling
The Guardian, Thursday 6 January 2011 22.29 GMT
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Mama Rosin
Let the good times Swiss roll ... Mama Rosin.

Living communally in a 200-year-old farmhouse, growing their own produce, making music and listening to old vinyl is just what you'd expect to find a Cajun band doing. Except that Mama Rosin's farm is not in the Louisiana bayou, but in the foothills of the Alps, a 40-minute drive from the shores of Lake Geneva. "It's like our own little piece of Louisiana in the mountains" says guitar and banjo player Robin Girod. "We like to think of it as the Swiss bayou." Until Mama Rosin was founded just over five years ago, Cajun music was as alien to Switzerland as cuckoo clocks would be in the swamps. The band came together when Girod, a 29-year-old university drop-out, met the 27-year-old Lebanese-born accordion player Cyril Yeterian while piloting a passenger ferry on the lake. The pair bonded over their mutual love of old-time French migrant music, sailing and ducks.

"Ducks are a very important part of the Mama Rosin story," Girod explains. "We have a boat on the lake which we use for birdwatching trips and that is how we became known in Geneva as the Frères Souchet (the name translates as "Wild Duck Brothers"). Also because Cyril sounds a bit like a duck when he sings."

Yeterian's distinctive, nasal delivery is actually modelled on the authentic Cajun vocal style, whose singers developed a rasping, high-pitched method of projection in order to cut through the noise of crowded Louisiana juke joints. For Yeterian, learning to quack was a classic instance of a musician discovering his true voice.

"When we first began to play together, Robin and I wanted to emulate our heroes who were all black country blues artists," Yeterian explains. "Yet it never sounded quite right. We were trying to sing the music of poor, rural Mississippians in affluent, white Geneva. It sounded false." The moment of revelation occurred when Girod and Yeterian ran into a ragged group of punks at a French folk festival. "They were playing this extraordinary, super-charged folk music with a pumping accordion and singing in a peculiar, old-fashioned form of French," Girod explains. "We'd never heard anything like it, but when they finished they told us it was Cajun music.

"It was like a light suddenly went on. Even though the music originated in America, there was an immediate bond because of the common language. We felt how Eric Clapton must have felt when he first heard Robert Johnson. Cajun and Zydeco became our blues."

The roots of Cajun music can be traced back to the 18th century, when displaced French settlers from Canada formed a new community deep in the swamps of Louisiana. They took their accordions with them, and gradually the music fused with African-American, Caribbean and Mexican influences to form the bluesy hybrid known as Zydeco.

Broadly speaking, the distinction between white Cajun music and the Creole form of Zydeco is to be found in the means of percussion. Cajun tunes keep time to an insistently ringing triangle, while Zydeco is powered by the manic rattle of the frottoir, a percussion instrument worn like a vest that combines the features of a washboard and a breastplate. "You can have as many musicians as you like in a Zydeco band," Girod explains. "But an accordion and a frottoir are all you need to get people dancing."

Mama Rosin cut their first album with a single microphone in a matter of hours, mixing garage-band versions of Cajun standards with a bizarre swamp-pop version of Cliff Richard's Dancing Shoes. It was followed by Brule Lentement, the first Mama Rosin recording to become available in the UK, in which the band's Velvet Underground influences came to the fore – the cover was a parody of Andy Warhol's famous sleeve design with the banana replaced by a red chilli. It earned the band a slot on Jools Holland's Later, which became an instant YouTube hit. Now the band, with the addition of French drummer Xavier Guilian, is about to embark on its first British tour, including a London debut at the Borderline and an appearance at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.

The tour coincides with the UK release of the band's most recent album, Black Robert, which features Mama Rosin's signature song, Bon Temps Rouler (Let the Good Times Roll); a trance-like, extended improvisation with which the band usually conclude their concerts, more often than not while parading through the audience. Yet Black Robert has a jazzier, more laid-back feel than the band's earlier work, as it bears the influence of Girod and Yeterian's first encounter with genuine Cajun culture.

"We met some young Louisianans who invited us to join them for Mardi Gras," Girod explains. "The Cajun Mardi Gras is quite separate from New Orleans, which has become very commercial and tourist-oriented. We went for the genuine, rural celebration where you ride horses and chase chickens at eight in the morning."

The Frères Souchet bonded with the local community by acquiring matching duck designs in a Lafayette tattoo parlour; and Yeterian took the opportunity to purchase some instruments from the revered accordion-builder and player Marc Savoy. Yet the trip inspired mixed feelings, as Girod explains.

"On the one hand we had old Creole guys hugging us and saying: 'Thanks for keeping our music alive.' On the other, we came to realise the extent to which Cajun culture has been completely assimilated into American culture. Fewer and fewer people bother to learn to speak French, while young people neglect traditional instruments and forget the old songs."

The experience inspired one of the stand-out tracks on the new album, a haunting lament entitled Tu As Perdu Ton Chemin. "It's kind of a joke, but also a warning," Yeterian says. "We tried to imagine ourselves as two old Creole guys, sitting on a bench and looking at the younger generation with their MP3 players and fast cars, saying: 'You have lost your way.'"

But there are signs that Cajun music may be staging a resurgence. Younger French-speaking artists the Pine Leaf Boys and Cedric Watson have gained a wider audience by fusing the raw energy of Zydeco with the slicker sound of commercial country music. Its arrival in the mainstream was confirmed in 2007 when the Grammy awards introduced a category for best Cajun or Zydeco recording. And it remains in rude health in the Swiss bayou, where Girod and Yeterian have created a cottage industry to supplement their music, manufacturing schnapps from the fruit trees in their garden and producing their own Mama Rosin brand of dried chillies and hot sauce.

"Initially, it was just a way of creating some merchandise that was a bit more imaginative than posters and T-shirts," Yeterian says. "Now we sell almost as many bottles of sauce as CDs. It's unconventional, but we never set out to become a normal band. I mean, I have an Armenian name, I was born in Lebanon, I live in Switzerland and I play Cajun music – how crazy is that?" - The Guardian


It really doesn't work on paper- a Swiss band, with a Lebanese-born singer, playing Louisiana Cajun music with a garage-punk twist. The presence of Jon Spencer as producer- on this, the band's fifth album- lends credibility however, and indeed this is immediately borne out upon listening. Put simply, who cares about authenticity when the results are as thrilling as this?

Like all the best rock & roll, Bye Bye Bayou is a gumbo pot of tradition and innovation, roots music and radical reinvention, respect for the past and a ragged-ass leap into the future; a wild-eyed desire to fuck shit up and get the party started. This is certainly no reverential re-tread of the sound of somebody else's grandparents' culture, not just another case of middle class European white boys trying to play the blues, or bluegrass, for that matter. Under Spencer's direction, every track here is splintered and warped, forced broken and bleeding into the present moment; every instrument pushed into the red, wrapped in reverb, distortion and extraneous noise. This is psychedelic Cajun punk voodoo rockabilly dance music; some Swiss Dadaists just put CBGBs in a swamp and spiked the chilli sauce with Sandoz acid. Can you dig it?

Opening with the honking, squeaking, creaking rock & roll shuffle of 'Marilou', Cyril Yeterian's distorted yodelling vocals switch between English and French- the preferred language for most of the album, and the tongue in which Cajun is traditionally sung- over the repeated stab of his fuzzed-up melodeon. 'Sorry Ti Monde' crashes in like Radio Birdman, driving one-note piano and Xavier Bray's reverberating, hammering drums, with ghostly, screaming backing vocals, all sounding wonderfully murky yet dynamic, and 'Parait Qu'y A Pas L'Temps' finds the melodeon riding a scuzzy rhythm track, the feel for the groove - loose but tight - on a par with classic Stones or Faces, complete with marvellously greasy slide guitar.

Mama Rosin could get by purely on their impeccable rock & roll dynamics, but the trio are always keen to throw a curveball into the mix; on 'Casse Mes Objets' (You Broke My Stuff), a raw Cajun melodeon riff and battering drums give way to a crazy psychedelic breakdown, Robin Girod's rapidly descending fairground guitar lines disintegrating into feverish echo. 'Wivenhoe' – a bizarre tribute to the Essex town where the band apparently played some memorable shows - again has a punk Stones-Faces feel, but livened up by scratching and burbling electronic effects, which could sound forced and tokenistic, but in fact just adds to the raw strangeness of the track. On 'Black Samedi,' slow swamp drums struggle through a murky wash of echo and slide, with Matt Verta-Ray guesting on strangled saxophone shrieks. Howling vocals and a vicious, distorted no-note guitar solo add up to a masterpiece of unhinged, bad trip psychedelia. And when the haunting, echo chamber blues of 'Mama Don't' finally erupt into a train-wreck zydeco groove, the return to traditional structure is more surprising than if they'd stayed floating in space.

Sometimes though it's the straight-up song-craft that's the most affecting; the Hispanic-flavoured folk-rock of 'Seco E Mulhado', played loose and ragged in a foreboding minor key, or the rough-edged ballad 'I Don't Feel at Home,' expressing the existential loneliness of a life of constant touring. It's tempting too to read the song as a lament from a band who just can't feel at ease in a world of pro-tools and iPhones, who long for mythical simpler times when all you had to do was get up and play. But unless playing like your life depended on it is old-fashioned, unless making everything sound as raw and messed-up as possible is passé, unless melody and rhythm and singing from the gut are yesterday's news, Mama Rosin are far from a nostalgia act. Bye Bye Bayou is all about this moment. Break out the hot sauce, there's a party going on! - The Quietus


It really doesn't work on paper- a Swiss band, with a Lebanese-born singer, playing Louisiana Cajun music with a garage-punk twist. The presence of Jon Spencer as producer- on this, the band's fifth album- lends credibility however, and indeed this is immediately borne out upon listening. Put simply, who cares about authenticity when the results are as thrilling as this?

Like all the best rock & roll, Bye Bye Bayou is a gumbo pot of tradition and innovation, roots music and radical reinvention, respect for the past and a ragged-ass leap into the future; a wild-eyed desire to fuck shit up and get the party started. This is certainly no reverential re-tread of the sound of somebody else's grandparents' culture, not just another case of middle class European white boys trying to play the blues, or bluegrass, for that matter. Under Spencer's direction, every track here is splintered and warped, forced broken and bleeding into the present moment; every instrument pushed into the red, wrapped in reverb, distortion and extraneous noise. This is psychedelic Cajun punk voodoo rockabilly dance music; some Swiss Dadaists just put CBGBs in a swamp and spiked the chilli sauce with Sandoz acid. Can you dig it?

Opening with the honking, squeaking, creaking rock & roll shuffle of 'Marilou', Cyril Yeterian's distorted yodelling vocals switch between English and French- the preferred language for most of the album, and the tongue in which Cajun is traditionally sung- over the repeated stab of his fuzzed-up melodeon. 'Sorry Ti Monde' crashes in like Radio Birdman, driving one-note piano and Xavier Bray's reverberating, hammering drums, with ghostly, screaming backing vocals, all sounding wonderfully murky yet dynamic, and 'Parait Qu'y A Pas L'Temps' finds the melodeon riding a scuzzy rhythm track, the feel for the groove - loose but tight - on a par with classic Stones or Faces, complete with marvellously greasy slide guitar.

Mama Rosin could get by purely on their impeccable rock & roll dynamics, but the trio are always keen to throw a curveball into the mix; on 'Casse Mes Objets' (You Broke My Stuff), a raw Cajun melodeon riff and battering drums give way to a crazy psychedelic breakdown, Robin Girod's rapidly descending fairground guitar lines disintegrating into feverish echo. 'Wivenhoe' – a bizarre tribute to the Essex town where the band apparently played some memorable shows - again has a punk Stones-Faces feel, but livened up by scratching and burbling electronic effects, which could sound forced and tokenistic, but in fact just adds to the raw strangeness of the track. On 'Black Samedi,' slow swamp drums struggle through a murky wash of echo and slide, with Matt Verta-Ray guesting on strangled saxophone shrieks. Howling vocals and a vicious, distorted no-note guitar solo add up to a masterpiece of unhinged, bad trip psychedelia. And when the haunting, echo chamber blues of 'Mama Don't' finally erupt into a train-wreck zydeco groove, the return to traditional structure is more surprising than if they'd stayed floating in space.

Sometimes though it's the straight-up song-craft that's the most affecting; the Hispanic-flavoured folk-rock of 'Seco E Mulhado', played loose and ragged in a foreboding minor key, or the rough-edged ballad 'I Don't Feel at Home,' expressing the existential loneliness of a life of constant touring. It's tempting too to read the song as a lament from a band who just can't feel at ease in a world of pro-tools and iPhones, who long for mythical simpler times when all you had to do was get up and play. But unless playing like your life depended on it is old-fashioned, unless making everything sound as raw and messed-up as possible is passé, unless melody and rhythm and singing from the gut are yesterday's news, Mama Rosin are far from a nostalgia act. Bye Bye Bayou is all about this moment. Break out the hot sauce, there's a party going on! - The Quietus


Live review Big Issue 24/01/2011

Mama Rosin & Taraf De Haidouks @ Old FruitMarket Glasgow CC 2011

****/5

‘ Mention must also be made of support act Mama Rosin, a grungy, stomping, ridiculously smiley trio of Swiss lads bashing out a delicious blend of Cajun swing and rootsy blues with a skiffle twist. Having lived to tell the tale of supporting Stray Cats and gone on to soak up the spirit of Louisiana with what appears to be near-religious fervour, they compliment this venerable Glasgow venue by comparing its interior with the wrought-iron balconies of New Orleans’ Vieux Carré. ??Premiering new songs from imminent third album, Black Robert, alongside earlier tracks from their two releases on Switzerland’s hip (really) Voodoo Rhythm label, they are having possibly the most fun of anyone at Celtic Connections, swapping accordion for triangle, banjo for washboard, while their drummer keeps a sublimely irresistible rhythm. They dance through the audience like Pied Pipers, and keep the floor swinging. ??It is one of those delicious Celtic Connections sets which reminds you that this festival is all about the unfathomable tangled roots that encircle the world, shared passion in any language, and shining light in dark days.’??Vicky Davidson - Big Issue Vicky Davidson


Live Review of the Bristol gig @ Thekla

28/01/2011

‘You just don’t expect a young Swiss band to play zydeco, the odd fusion of Creole and blues that had its origins amongst the French-speaking black Americans of the swamps of Louisiana. And you certainly don’t expect to hear a Swiss band playing this sort of music with such raw intensity and at a ferocious speed that would make most punk bands seem pedestrian. Actually it is just as well that they play fast because with two supports, half-hour gaps between acts and an 11pm curfew there was little time left for their set. Ridiculously, both support acts played for longer than did the headliners. The opener was billed as Most Planes Land but turned out to be a bloke from Downend called Tom performing his own songs. Well, actually he performed very few songs as he talked a lot more than he sang.
Next up were The Lucky Strikes, a five piece from Southend who played highly structured raucous rock heavily influenced by Outlaw-style country. Eventually Mama Rosin took the stage, you could feel the atmosphere of the venue immediately change and it felt like the party was about to begin. With an unusual line up of button accordion, drums and wild-haired Robin Girod switching from electric guitar to heavily distorted banjo they rocked their way through songs in English and French with rhythms so infectious that they soon had people dancing. The Zachary Richards’ song from which they took their band name was an obvious must for the set list with accordion player Cyril Yeterian sounding like a veteran Cajun singer, as was their own much more swamp-rock style Le Pistolet.
There was a vibrant version of Rufus Jagneaux’ Cajun classic Opelousas Sostan featuring drummer Xavier Bray playing harmonica while still managing to pound the drums. But as the curfew loomed Girod strapped on the frattoir, the traditional zydeco metal washboard worn like a knight’s breastplate, and they launched into their final song, Bon Temps Rouler (loosely translated as Let the Good Times Roll), with Girod and Yeterian parading through the audience while still playing. For a short while the good times did roll, but by no stretch of the imagination was a 35-minute spot and less than a dozen songs anywhere near long enough for a band this exciting. Whoever planned this gig did not do Mama Rosin or their fans any favours at all.

Keith Clark
- Bristol Evening Post by Keith Clark


Mama Rosin

That old expression ‘power trio’ used to imply headbanging rock with beefburger lead guitar, thrashed bass and an unfeasibly huge drum kit, but this extraordinary young Cajun/Zydeco threesome from Switzerland set fire to such notions with amped-and-echoed-up melodeon (Cyril Yeterian), guitar/banjo (Robin Girod) and a drummer (Power Van Fisher) who doubles on frottoir (rub-board). What’s more, Mama Rosin seem as prolific with their inspiringly rough-edged recordings as they are overflowing with energy. These two both came out in the space of the last nine months, there was an earlier debut in 2008 (Tu As Perdu Ton Chemin, reviewed fR301) and another one’s apparently already in the can.
The chronology is initially confusing: the more acoustic Black Robert – which mixes up Louisiana with inspiration from Afro/Caribbean roots, country blues, gospel, swamp pop and much more in a series of considered, field recording-like snapshots with oodles of atmosphere – was recorded in five days in June 2008 and released in September 2009. The fabulously graunchy, more electric and wild Brûle Lentement with its brilliant red chilli parody of Warhol’s banana Velvet Underground cover was recorded in two days in November 2008 but came out first in March 2009. So whereas the release sequence at first hinted that they were pedalling backwards from being a Cajun/Zydeco Clash – an admitted influence, right down to their ‘combat Cajun’ tag – to the land of roots, it’s the other way round. Maybe. I sense a band brimming with ideas. After regular plays it’s hard to pick a favourite from the two, but the energy rush of Brûle Lentement possibly just has the edge as the more startling introduction.
Quite how three guys from Bern in Switzerland – not internationally noted for its proliferation of bayous, alligator clocks and gumbo restaurants – became one of the wildest, most post-authentic Cajun/Zydeco bands on the planet is not yet clear. Investigative reporters are being despatched as I type. Already favourites of the BBC’s Mark Lamarr, they toured here earlier in 2009 and are back in March for a recording date and maybe more. Meanwhile, enjoy their track on this issue’s fRoots 34…

www.voodoorhythm.com, www.gutfeeling.de, www.myspace.com/mamarosin

Ian Anderson
- fRoots - Ian Anderson


‘How three guys from Geneva became one of the wildest, most post authentic Cajun/Zydeco bands on the planet is not yet clear…..extraordinary’
- fRoots


‘How three guys from Geneva became one of the wildest, most post authentic Cajun/Zydeco bands on the planet is not yet clear…..extraordinary’
- fRoots


‘A brilliant new album by Garage-punk gumbo of Cajun and Zydeco  from this Geneva-based trio’
- The Independent (Information)


‘An exceptional trio…..they’re  true to the roots of this music, but add a modern punk-bristle energy’ ***** - Maverick


Discography

Bye Bye Bayou ( Moi J'Connais, 2012)
Under Jon Spencer’s direction, Mama Rosin hit a voodoo groove akin to that which once powered The Gun
Club and The Cramps. Bye Bye Bayou is in-ya-face feral rock’n’roll. This album bites like an alligator: get bit!

Brule Lentement (Voodoo Rhythm Mar. 09)
Graunchy, electric, wild, parody of Warhol’s Velvet Underground cover art, recorded in two days.

Black Robert (GutFeeling Sept. 09)
The band adds voodoo-jazz to their down ‘n’ dirty Cajun garage sound. Black Robert’s cover is an ad-hoc shot taken in London at Hackney’s Broadway Market

Tu As Perdu Ton Chemin (Voodoo Rhythm Sept. 08)
A wild concoction of Cajun, Delta blues and garage punk, recorded entirely live.

Photos

Bio

Post-Punk Roots Rockers Rip It Up And Start Again

Long celebrated as a seminal live band, Mama Rosin’s unique vision - Louisiana swamp grooves meet New York’s CBGB white heat/white noise! – found legendary American rocker Jon Spencer embracing the band. Matching Mama Rosin with Jon Spencer proved a marriage made in rock’n’roll heaven: rich in texture and flavour, Bye Bye Bayou stands tall as 2012’s most uncompromising album.
Jon Spencer started out as guitarist in NY punk Pussy Galore and is leader of leftfield Americana bands Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash. As a producer he has helmed definitive albums by “punk rock blues” veterans’ RL Burnside and Andre Williams.

Mama Rosin first encountered Spencer when they opened several European shows for Blues Explosion. He then invited them to record at Hed Analog Studio in New York City. Across eight days Mama Rosin recorded take after take with Spencer insisting the band kick out the jams. Shattered from playing to their utmost abilities the band would then be instructed by Spencer to overdub while he mixed so splintering each song’s sonic texture. The result is Bye Bye Bayou, an album that rips up the rulebook on how to play punk and Cajun.
Bye Bye Bayou is Mama Rosin’s breakthrough album: here the Swiss trio create a sound unlike any other band on earth. This is rock’n’roll at its most primal, warped and obsessive, where Lower East Side hustlers go alligator hunting. Put simply: Bye Bye Bayou is bad-ass.
Mama Rosin on recording with Jon Spencer: “In the studio Jon pushed us. He is a music encyclopedia and a fantastic musician. Jon and Matt Verta-Ray played on some songs, spontaneous contributions, wild stuff. Recording with Jon was the best eight days of our lives!”
Mama Rosin on Bye Bye Bayou’s title: “We feel that, to some degree, Bye Bye Bayou reflects the way our music has been evolving, we have outgrown our Cajun/zydeco roots.
Mama Rosin on Bye Bye Bayou’s songs: “The 13 songs are originals except for a version of the old blues tune ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World’ which we reinvent and sing in French (‘Assis Sur Le Sommet Du Monde’)”
Mama Rosin discuss Bye Bye Bayou tune by tune: PTO
Under Jon Spencer’s direction, Mama Rosin hit a voodoo groove akin to that which once powered The Gun
Club and The Cramps. Bye Bye Bayou is in-ya-face feral rock’n’roll. This album bites like an alligator: get bit!