Back in the 1980s, one could hear Louisiana Cajun music locally at joints like Twist and Shout that attracted a multigenerational audience of dancers and wall-leaning beer-drinkers. Today, with the genre largely associated with swing and folk dancing, the audience consists mainly of older, foot-stepping, arm-twirling non-drinkers. While the locales for this week’s gigs by the Red Stick Ramblers are still family-friendly, this mostly young band plays music that appeals even to those who would rather drink than waltz. On 2007’s Made in the Shade, the LSU-associated Ramblers succeed best on speedy, two-fiddle barnburners with call & response vocals like “Katrina,” and “Tes Parents Ne Veulent Plus Me Voir” (Your Parent Don’t Want to See Me). You’ll also hear the 1920s-style gypsy hot jazz of “Evenin,” the Western swing of Bob Wills’ “Don’t Cry, Baby,” and even rural slow-dance numbers featuring a pinged triangle and South Louisiana–drawled French Cajun vocals like “Les Oiseaux Vont Chanter.” You might not be able to buy an Abita, but you won’t feel like a wallflower.
THE RED STICK RAMBLERS PERFORM AT 8 P.M. AT GLEN ECHO PARK, 7300 MACARTHUR BLVD., GLEN ECHO, MD. $9–$12. (301) 634-2222.