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.
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.
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.
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…