Southwest Louisiana's traditional Cajun music is played with exuberance and dance-inspiring energy by Filé. While accordion player/percussionist/lead vocalist Ward Lormand and bassist/acoustic guitarist/vocalist Kevin Shearin are the only original members, the group continues to maintain the high energy of its earliest performances.
Lormand and Shearin first played together in the Cajun band Cush-Cush in 1980. Raised in his father's bar in the French-speaking Louisiana town of Ossun, on the prairie northwest of Lafayette, Lormand has been singing and playing drums since childhood. A native of the Catskill Mountains region of New York, Shearin played bass for numerous bands before moving to Louisiana.
A veteran of bluegrass and country-rock bands in the Appalachian region in the '70s, Peter Stevens (drums, washboard, spoons, and bones), played with Lormand and Shearin on Filé's first album, Live at Mulate's in 1985. The most recent additions to the group, D'Jamla Garnier and David Egan, joined Filé in the early '90s. St. Paul, MN-born Garnier inherited his love of Cajun music from his Creole father. After studying composition, arranging, and orchestration with Lyle "Spud" Murphy, Garnier (fiddle, guitar, tenor banjo, vocals) studied Creole fiddling under a Texas Folk Life Resources grant with influential Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot. Egan, a native of Shreveport, LA, majored in music at North Texas State College. In addition to playing keyboards for the swamp R&B band, A-Train; he spent three years in Jo-El Sonnier's band prior to joining Filé in 1991.
Although they initially sought to recapture the traditional sounds of Cajun music, Filé has increasingly incorporated elements of R&B, Dixieland jazz, rock, zydeco, and Creole lala. Their 1996 album, La Vie Marron, reached number 18 on the Gavin Americana chart. ~ Craig Harris