The Revelers Reveal Distinct, Cajun Blend on New Single “Who Who, Yea You”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

No one sounds like The Revelers—literally. Fully steeped in French Cajun music and culture, each of the five members have a deep knowledge of Louisiana music, shuffling together traditional, guitar- and accordion-led Zydeco, swamp pop rhythm and blues, and some old-school Louisiana jazz and dance hall music. On third album, The End of the River, The Revelers reveal a bigger picture of true Cajun music and find something closer to their true sound, dashing in honky-tonk, folk, and Americana into some kind of sticky (and good) jambalaya.

Formed in Lafayette, LA 10 years ago, the band has led the pack with its fusion of Cajun-rooted music, following their self titled debut in 2012 and follow up, 2015’s Get Ready, which also earned them a Best Regional Roots Music Grammy nomination in 2016.

In many ways, The End of the River is the band’s “arrival” record, says arranger and saxophonist Chris Miller. Sticking to traditional Cajun French lyrics on five of the 11 tracks, the band kicks off with title track “Au Bout de la Rivière (At the End of the River)” through “Pendant, J’suis Loin de Toi (While I Am Far From You),” or romantic closer “La Bague Diamant (The Diamond Ring”),” returning to English on slow dancers “She’s a Woman” and “You’re Not To Blame.” 

The Revelers—guitarist Chas Justus, jazz bassist Trey Boudreaux, fiddler Daniel Coolik, accordionist Blake Miller, drummer Glenn Fields, and Miller—literally live, breath, play (and eat) everything Cajun, claiming to live by the culture’s “holy trinity” of all-night dancing, great food, and hot music. It’s only fitting that the video for new single “Who Who, Yea You” was performed at the annual Blackpot Camp, a two-day festival of Cajun music and food in Eunice, LA.

Written by Coolik, the idea for “Who” came after listening to James Brown and other call-and-response songs of the ‘60s as the band was searching for a good hook to repeat, Miller tells American Songwriter. “This song was written as a throwback to the glory days of Chess and King,” says Miller. “The story isn’t much, just about someone talking about how great their girlfriend is. She dances in her own way and looks good doing it.”

Lighthearted, “Who” isn’t dripping in any mushy love story or heartbreak. Instead, it captures a more carefree time, like a night at the dance some time in the ’50s or ’60s. “[It’s] definitely not a ‘smart’ song,” says Miller. “But sometimes you don’t need to be smart, sometimes you just need to have fun.”

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