A spicy mix of rarities, alternates and previously unissued R&B goodies from South Louisiana and S.E. Texas, where you are never too far from a bayou and some good rockin’ music. This 15th compilation in the “By The Bayou” series takes us back to the R&B sounds you would have heard belting out of a Louisiana juke joint on a steamy night in the 1950s or early 1960s. All of the tracks included were recorded in that party state, although some of the artists were based in Texas, crossing the state line to make music in studios based in Crowley and Lake Charles.
The multitalented Kenny Neal offers up a real treat with Bayou Blood, which features mostly original songs seasoned with a very few covers. Neal's guitar work is excellent and his smoky voice is a pleasure, but it's his harp playing that really shines, especially on "Howling at the Moon" and "Big City Ways." There's plenty of variety, from the fast-paced shuffle of "Right Train, Wrong Track" to the slower, attitudinal "Gonna Put You out of My Misery" to the smooth "Smoke Signals." "That Knife Don't Cut No More," "Do I Have to Go That Far?" and the title track are especially memorable, and a tasty cover of "You Ain't Foolin' Me" closes this album with style.
28 hot rockers, cool boppers and Cajun thumpers from Louisiana and South East Texas. This exciting new addition to our popular “By The Bayou” series features 28 tracks from the vaults of Louisiana and South East Texas record men J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Sam Montel, Pappy Daily, Huey Meaux, George Khoury, Joe Ruffino, Diamond Jim Wheeler and Melvin Dodge, plus tracks by Louisiana artists recorded by Murray Nash and Dee Marais. This might be the 16th in the series but it continues to unearth unknown goodies and dust off long-forgotten gems.
Ten volumes into their seemingly never-ending, always-excellent By the Bayou series, Ace returns to R&B for Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies. Like nearly all of its predecessors, this is primarily archival – i.e., there aren't a lot of familiar names, but there are acts that have popped up on previous Bayou installments because, at this point, it's been proven that the well is deep but not fathomless. Newly discovered cuts by unknowns can hardly be called "recycling," and this, like its cousins, is pretty close to straight-up aural dynamite.
Bayou Maharajah explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker, the man Dr. John described as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced." A brilliant pianist, his eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle, prejudice, and isolation. Illustrated with never-before-seen concert footage, rare personal photos and exclusive interviews, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius.