Feufollet singer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Stafford co-founded the Cajun-Americana band when he was 11.
“It’s something I’ve done my whole life,” Stafford said of Feufollet. “I never thought of not doing it.”
The band recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a performance at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles in Lafayette.
The only original member of the Grammy-nominated Feufollet, Stafford kept the band going through the years with a series of talented young musicians. Until 2015, the group featured original members Stafford, his drumming younger brother, Michael, and fiddler Chris Segura. Other members have included Taylor Guarisco of Givers fame, singer-songwriter Anna Laura Edmiston and Josh Caffery, the musician and folklorist who’s now director of the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“If you start something so young, the people you do it with are not going to do it forever,” Stafford said. “But the spirit of the band lives on.”
On Sunday, Feufollet — featuring Stafford, a singer, accordionist, guitarist and fiddler; singer, fiddler and guitarist Kelli Jones; keyboardist Andrew Toups; bassist Philippe Billeaudeaux; and drummer Jim Kolace — will make its Dyson House Listening Room debut.
In September, Feufollet released a 20th-anniversary retrospective album, “Prends Courage” (translates to “Take Courage”). Stafford and Feufollet bassist Philippe Billeaudeaux picked tracks for the collection from Feufollet’s studio albums and new recordings.
Despite being somewhat embarrassed by his early recordings, Stafford featured them on “Prends Courage.” The retrospective goes all the way back to Feufollet’s 1999 debut, “La Bande Feufollet.”
“Realistically, that’s the story of the band and my history as a musician,” Stafford said. “It is what it is. The legacy and the fact that we’ve done all that is remarkable in itself.”
Feufollet naturally injects various styles into its Cajun music foundation.
“A lot of bands before us here in Lafayette made records that are Cajun music but blended with other influences,” Stafford said. “Obviously, BeauSoleil and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. And Steve produced our first three albums. He was an early mentor for us. He wasn’t afraid to make Cajun music an artistic genre. That sensibility rubbed off on us.”
Though Stafford is loyal to Feufollet, he and his bandmates are involved in many musical endeavors. Stafford plays guitar and keyboards in Blaze Viator’s rock ’n’ roll band, the Viatones. He and Billeaudeaux also perform in Cedric Watson’s Cajun-Creole-zydeco band. Jones performs and records with the country-Cajun band T’Monde and her Cajun musician husband, Joel Savoy. She also leads a pop-Americana-country band. And Jones, Stafford and members of the Revelers perform in the 1960s country-inspired band the Faded Lovers.
Stafford also produces recordings for other artists at his Lafayette studio. In the studio and on stage, he’s a sought-after music handyman whose skills include pedal steel guitar and, should the need arise, bass.
Precociously gifted during his childhood, Stafford quickly moved from the diatonic, button-style accordion commonly used in Cajun music to other instruments.
“It was always about the next thing I wanted to work on,” he explained.
Besides playing instruments, Stafford kept a four-track recorder in his bedroom.
“The big picture kind of thing, that’s always been part of my identity, multi-instrumentalist and producer and recording engineer,” he said.
Feufollet’s relatively light performance schedule allows its members to pursue their many other musical activities. It also keeps Feufollet fresh.
“We don’t tour a lot, but we do play fairly often,” Stafford said. “The band is an idea that we keep going for the sake of the art and the enjoyment of performing with one another.”
5 p.m. Sunday
Dyson House Listening Room at Zeeland Street Market Wine & Deli, 2031 Perkins Road