The Austin Chronicle


Daily Reviews and Interviews

By Kate X Messer, March 20, 2009, Screens

The Promised Land

Documentary Feature, 24 Beats per Second
D: Matthew Wilkinson

For the purposes of describing swamp pop's melting pot of Cajun, zydeco, blues, and rock, the word "gumbo" has hereby been banned forever – especially since the genre is, instead, so exquisitely compared herein to the mighty Mississippi River: subject to "all the runoff of North America." This brackish musical mélange is nowhere more apparent than in Louisiana's Lil Band O Gold, an Acadian supergroup of godfathers and kings from each of the area's musical forms. Cameos by the Lake Charles Calcasieu bridge, the Rock 'n' Bowl in New Orleans, and a calendar of sunsets and sunrises captured against black silhouettes of moss-drenched cypress round out the cast. The Promised Land, so named for the breathtaking stretch of boggy byway known as the Atchafalaya Basin, also speaks to the glorious higher ground reached by these crazy aging characters as they become one with their calling, and the music becomes them.

Thursday, March 19, 3pm, Austin Convention Center

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