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Living Legends

Freres Michot
Inducted on February 26, 2001

Freres Michot The Michots grew up in rural Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, in a small community known as Pilette. Their father, Louis J. Michot Jr. was raised in Mamou and Lafayette; both of his parents grew up in Avoyelles Parish with French as their native tongue, later learning English in school. Patricia Ann Smith Michot , the mother of Les Frères, was born and raised in St. Mary Parish on the banks of the Lower Atchafalaya River near Patterson, where her father ran Idlewild Farms. Her mother Rita was born and raised in Iberia Parish on the banks of Bayou Teche at Belle Place, between New Iberia and Loreauville; she also grew up speaking only French and learned English later in school. The Michots, on Rita's side, are direct descendants of Alexandre "Beausoleil" Broussard who, with his brother Joseph, led the first group of Acadians to relocate to Bayou Teche from Acadie in 1765, after Le Grand Dérangement. Louis and Pat Michot had 10 children, four girls and six boys, who grew up in Pilette and attended school in Lafayette.

Les Frères Michot started playing together as an all-brothers Cajun band in 1986, although the individual musicians have played with each other and with numerous other groups since about 1968. The group plays traditional Cajun music in the all-acoustic bal de maison (house dance) style that was prevalent before the advent of electric amplification, and the Michots' aim has always been to preserve this style of Cajun music. They typically use no drums, nor electric instruments, and their music has a strong vocal component with all lyrics in French. Instrumentation includes fiddle, accordion, and acoustic guitar, and often with the p’tit fer (le basse triangle, or le bastringue) and contrebasse. The Michots have played extensively throughout the United States and have toured in Quebec, Acadie, and in several European countries (France, England and Poland), but play primarily in south Louisiana.

The group has recorded three albums, in five releases. The first album, Elevés à Pilette, was released in vinyl and tape on the ARZED label (RZ 1014) in 1987 and re-released on the LFM label in cd and tape in 1996 (LFM 0002). That album was produced by Zachary Richard, who also sings on one track, and includes the late Dewey Balfa as a guest musician on several tracks, along with five of the six Michot brothers (Rick, Tommy, Bobby, David, Mike). The second album, La Roue Qui Pend, was released in Spring 2003 (cd) on the Swallow Records label (SW 6174) and features Tommy's sons Andre and Louis along with four of the original brothers (Tommy, Rick, David and Mike); it was recorded at Freetown Studio and at La Roue Qui Pend. The third album, La Caroline, was recorded at La Louisianne studio in Lafayette and was released in September of 2008 on the LFM label (LFM 0003); it features Rick's son Patrick along with brothers Tommy and Rick. La Caroline was re-released out of France as Dedans le sud de la Louisiane under the Fremeaux label (FA 579) in 2013.

The Michots as a group and as individuals have recorded on several additional albums and they have been featured in numerous films, documentaries, and national television and radio programs. They have also played in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ireland and Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Quebec).

Documentaries featuring Les Freres Michot have aired on CNN, the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, TV5 (France), and Public TV (Spain). The band was honored as a "Living Legend" by the Cajun Museum in Erath, La, and the Michot Family received the Acadian Cultural Preservation Award from the Bayou Vermilion District and Vermilionville in 2012. Les Freres Michot and the Lost Bayou Ramblers were featured in a Louisiana Crossroads program in Lafayette and Lake Charles in 2013. Les Freres Michot was selected to play with the Acadian Symphony Orchestra for its annual Red White and Boom Independence Day Concert in 2007.

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