All the promise that Lonnie Brooks possessed was realized on this album, his finest and most consistent to date. The churning bayou groove of "Voodoo Daddy," and a soul-steeped "Watch What You Got," a bone-chilling remake of Junior Parker's "In the Dark," rollicking covers of Tommy Tucker's "Alimony" and Brooks' own "Figure Head," and the swaggering originals "You Know What My Body Needs" and "Watchdog" are among the set's many incendiary highlights.
Opening slowly with the dark, swampy "Born on the Bayou," Bayou Country reveals an assured Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band that has found its voice between their first and second album. It's not just that "Born on the Bayou" announces that CCR has discovered its sound – it reveals the extent of John Fogerty's myth-making.
Tab Benoit's funky, ragged blend of Louisiana swamp blues and East Texas guitar, with hints of funk, soul, and country thrown in to give the gumbo just the right spice, has served him well since he burst on the scene in the early '90s. Since Benoit hasn't essentially changed his sound since, this collection of sides made up largely from his early releases for Houston-based Justice Records (all of Benoit's Justice albums have been reissued by Vanguard Records in recent years) makes an ideal introduction to what this guy is all about, and although Best of the Bayou Blues covers a five-year span from 1992 to 1997, the tracks all fall together in a completely coherent sequence. Opening with the Benoit original "Voodoo on the Bayou" from 1992's Nice & Warm and running through several originals and some interesting covers (including country-funk takes on Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" and Willie Nelson's "Rainy Day Blues"), this set spotlights Benoit's southern Louisiana take on contemporary blues.
28 slices of down’n’dirty blues from the Deep South – including eight previously unheard tracks and takes. The “By The Bayou” series leaps to Volume 18 with a return to the blues of South Louisiana, bringing you rare or previously unissued tracks from stars of the genre such as Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo, plus a host of little-known or completely unknown performers. We also have two artists who you would never think performed in the downhome style – Barbara Lynn and Cookie (aka Huey Thierry) – but who sound right at home, with an unknown harmonica player setting the tone on Barbara’s track whilst Cupcakes guitarist Marshall Laday supports Cookie with some mean blues pickin’. In fact there are several tracks here that will have air-guitar virtuosos reaching for their imaginary axes.
The buckle-polishers and skirt-swirlers are back! Presenting 28 rare goodies from Louisiana and South East Texas. The variant of rock’n’roll that emanated from the Gulf Coast of South Louisiana and South East Texas in the 1950s-60s is as evocative of the area as chicken gumbo, crawfish étouffée and red beans and rice. The youthful Cajuns of the period threw themselves into r’n’r like teenagers across the globe, but had additional influences, not just the hillbilly and blues that created rockabilly, but the ethnic music of their parents and, most telling, the R&B sounds carried over the airwaves from New Orleans.
Hardly have we savoured the full taste of “Rhythm ’n’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou” than here comes another bucketful of steaming South Louisiana gumbo and this time it’s “Bluesin’ By The Bayou” – a spicy mix of guitars, harmonicas, and even the occasional accordion, accompanying those tales of despair or machismo that are the recipe for the blues. All the tracks stem from the studios of J.D. Miller in Crowley and Eddie Shuler in Lake Charles. These two men were wonders at spotting talent and getting the best out of the performers, as illustrated on the 28 tracks on this CD.