Words and Photos by Anna Piszczkiewicz
With over 700 bands playing 50 stages around Toronto over seven days, the 2012 North by Northeast Festival (NXNE) is a beast. You can make it what you want. Catch the headliners, follow the guides or ditch the schedule, take a chance and stumble on your new favourite band. And that’s exactly what we did.
Swiss trio Mama Rosin plays Cajun punk. You read that right.
Naturally, we wondered whether three boys from the shores of Lake Geneva (Switzerland) can pay homage to the musical heritage of Louisiana with authenticity and maturity. Turns out, yes, they can. They are respectful of the genre but aren’t afraid to have fun with it.
This is what old time French migrant music, with a quirky, rock ‘n’ roll spirit, sounds like.
Mama Rosin – “Le Pistolet”
We caught the first of two shows they played at NXNE. The boys said they were jet-legged but we couldn’t tell.
Mama Rosin are Cyril Yeterian (melodeon, vocals, guitar), Robin Girod (guitar, vocals, banjo) and Xavier Bray (drums, vocals). The band formed in 2007 and immediately began to tour all over Europe. A 2010 performance on famed BBC TV show Later… with Jools Holland garnered them a cult following.
They have released several albums on underground Swiss label Voodoo Rhythm Records and their own label, Moi j’Connais, where the band also re-issues records that influence them: obscure, old calypso, Cajun and zydeco music.
Mama Rosin – “Tu as perdu ton chemin”
Their newest video promotes their forthcoming Jon Spencer-produced album, to be released this fall. As the boys write on their Facebook page, the clip was shot on their beloved Lake Geneva.
Mama Rosin – “Seco e Molhado”[like] [tweets]