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Swamp Thing

Out of the soup of southern Louisiana comes a collection of Cajun all-stars with an indescribably sweet sound

The group members were all so conversant with the swamp-pop style that they cut the eponymous album virtually without rehearsing. The record created enough of a stir to inspire a tour of Louisiana and beyond. Adcock notes that since the players all have other activities and pursuits, they bring a fresh approach to Lil' Band every time they walk on stage. "We've all been in bands before. And after a while, the honeymoon is always over. It's not over with this. We're still bouncing off the walls," he says. "We don't play a whole bunch. Lil' Band O' Gold is a thoroughbred we run at big tracks on big race days. It's true. I ain't gonna run the risk of breaking a leg on a dirt track with this horse. That's what keeps us virgin. We play a lot, but it's never enough. And it's always great and always a good vibe."

Even though Adcock resists defining the swamp-pop sound that Lil' Band O' Gold plays, he has still come up with some pretty catchy descriptions. "It's [Fats] Domino meets fais do-do," he offers. "It's like some rum-and-Coke cocktail bottled in Lafayette."

But the best description of Lil' Band has come from a fan. "The band was playing out at Whiskey River Landing, at Henderson up on the levee," Adcock says. "There's this boy who cooks hamburgers there. I think he's retarded. He's, like, amazed by the band. He's our biggest fan, which is good. He's always good for hamburgers, which will get you home off of the levee, when you need it the most.

Lil' Band O' Gold: The Traveling Willburys of Cajun music.
Brian Ashley White
Lil' Band O' Gold: The Traveling Willburys of Cajun music.

"He just came up with this thing," Adcock continues. "He said, 'I was telling a bunch of people: You have to go out to Whiskey River tonight. Lil' Band O' Gold is playing.' You have to understand, even around Louisiana, it's still a new entity. So people don't know Lil' Band O' Gold....They said, 'Well, what is it? What kind of music is it?' He said, 'Well, I can't really explain. They play all the oldie goldie, all the '50s stuff.' They said, 'Well, is it Cajun music?' He said, 'You know what it is? It's Cajuns playing music.' I thought that was a great quote. That's my new way to explain what we do. Because there's no confines. Cajuns playing music. That's what we do."

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