From Child Prodigies to a Band on Fire!
Feufollet are a young Cajun band, hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana. They represent the newer generation of Cajun musicians keeping this great music alive. They take Cajun, Honky Tonk, and String band music as their launchpad and then let the music take them where it will and this is reflected in the band’s name. A Feufollet is a Wil-O’-the -Wisp, a mythical creature to be found in swamplands and other dark places, often mischievous and given to luring travellers from their chosen path – the perfect name for a band who rarely follow a simple route in their songs.
The band’s current line up is Chris Stafford – Vocals, Accordion, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Chris Segura – fiddle, Andrew Toups – Keyboards, Michael Stafford – Drums, Philippe Billeaudeaux – Bass and Kelli Jones-Savoy, who replaced previous singer Anna Laura Edmiston, on fiddle, guitar and vocals (since 2012). The band has been going since the late 90s and, to date, have produced five studio albums along with singles and an E.P. Their most recent recording is the 2017 single ‘Baby’s On Fire’.
When the band originally formed, with the line up of Stafford, Segura, Michael Stafford (half brother to Chris) and Ashley Hayes, Brittany Polaski, and Matt Cormier, the band members were aged between 11 and 17 and many of them were already serial competition winners on their chosen instruments. They’ve produced six studio albums as a band, starting with 1999’s ‘La Bande Feufollet’ and their most recent album offering has been ‘Two Universes’, released in 2015. Though there have been changes in the line-up, the band have grown and developed together and are still young musicians, despite the band’s 20 years + history. What makes this band so exciting is that constant growth and development and a wish to experiment with new sounds, while still keeping the band true to its Cajun roots. The most recent changes to the line-up saw Andrew Toups arrive on keyboards, coming from a rock music background, along with the considerable talents of Kelli Jones-Savoy, who is a multi-instrumentalist, bringing an Appalachian influence into the band, having been born and raised in South Carolina and learning fiddle from her father, who grew up in the Appalachian tradition, before she moved to Louisiana and took an interest in Cajun fiddle playing. She also has a strong feel for more traditional country music and has brought some of her own compositions into the band that, in turn, have been adapted to fit into Feufollet’s own eclectic approach to good-time music. It’s these diverse influences that keep the band vibrant and well worth checking out. You can see how they’ve developed as a band in recent years with these few clips, from an early, original band live appearance, through to a (trio only) appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival and, finally, to the most recent line-up on their last single.
Like many bands, Feufollet have been less than active recently but their website currently shows a live appearance scheduled for later in the year. Hopefully we’ll soon be hearing more from this most exciting of Cajun bands.