A compilation of classic Cajun music from Goldband Records - one of the most vital and important documentarians of endemic southern music in the 20th century - Swampland Jewels features recordings by Jo-El Sonnier, Boozoo Chavis, Iry LeJune, Jr., and Cleveland Crochet. With packaging that features the original bikini-clad-girl-riding-a-giant-crawfish album art, the compilation features 12 tracks from the original LP and CD releases, seven newly discovered tracks, and includes liner notes by Weiss on the history of Goldband Records and founder Eddie Shuler.
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.
Raw blues gems trawled from the swamps of South Louisiana, plus a touch of zydeco. Ten tracks are previously unreleased or alternate takes, while the other 18 are extremely rare. Baton Rouge was arguably the blues centre of Louisiana and just about all of the artists featured in this compilation spent part of their lives there. Long-time favourites Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester, Slim Harpo and Silas Hogan certainly honed their skills in its clubs and bars, although they travelled some 70 miles west to record at J.D. Miller’s studio in Crowley. Everything here emanated from Miller’s studio or from his close rival Eddie Shuler’s facility in Lake Charles, except series newcomer Chris Kenner’s track, which was cut in New Orleans. Other artists new to the series are Henry Gray, Juke Boy Bonner, Elton Anderson, Ramblin’ Hi Harris and Schoolboy Cleve.
Recorded during a month in Louisiana and sounding it, Tab Benoit's sixth album is a swampy example of the best of that state's music. Rocking, bluesy, and filled with soul, guitarist/vocalist Benoit keeps his sound stripped down to just a three-piece, giving his voice and greasy guitar plenty of room to maneuver. From obscure Professor Longhair second-line tunes ("Her Mind Is Gone") to a cover from zydeco king Boozoo Chavis ("Dog Hill") to a version of Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" that makes it seem like a lost New Orleans classic, Benoit traverses a lot of territory over this hour of music. Like his influences, Benoit never overdoes his approach, preferring to keep the focus on his gritty voice, lean guitar, and stark accompaniment of his backing duo. This is music caught between rootsy rock, funk, R&B, and blues, but far from sounding schizoid, it revels in its multiple inspirations. Benoit is in wonderful voice and spirits throughout, sounding loose yet in control regardless of what style he's playing. His guitar solos are taut and succinct, capturing the essence of the atmosphere without reverting to needless showboating. This is music from the heart, played with class, subtlety, and a reverence for its past squeezed into every spirited groove.
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.
The second “Bluesin’” volume in the “By The Bayou” series concentrates on musicians from South Louisiana and South East Texas discovered and recorded by J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler. These two giants of the post-war recording scene were supreme talent-spotters. They knew the sounds that appealed to the local record-buying public, their target audience. What they couldn’t have known, or even guessed at in their wildest fantasies, was that the appeal of their recordings would last so long and encompass the globe.
Cajun music is evolved from its roots in the music of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. In earlier years the fiddle was the predominant instrument, but gradually the accordion has come to share the limelight. Cajun music gained national attention in 2007, when the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album category was created…