Saturday, August 03, 2013

Some Bluesin' By The Bayou

Pictured on the cover is Lazy Lester
The English Ace label has just issued one of a series of anthologies of recordings from legendary Louisiana record producers J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler, Bluesin' By The Bayou. Half of the 28 selections previously were not released and the remainder were issued on small Louisiana labels like Rocko, Zynn, and Folk Star as well as Flyright LPs from the 1970s. 

There is a fair amount of what is now known as "Swamp Blues" along with several selections of zydeco. The performers range from the more famous swamp blues performers such as Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim, Lazy Lester, Lonesome Sundown, Silas Hogan and Whispering Smith as well as zydeco legends Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis to obscure artists such as lies Boy Dorsey, Thaddeus Declouret, Talbot Miller and Joe Rich. 

There are some exception blues here including Lightnin' Slim's doomy, Stranger In Your Town, Lazy Lester's moody Late in The Evening, Silas Hogan's Sitting Here Wondering Jimmy Anderson's channelling of Jimmy Reed on I Want You, I Need You. There is an alternate of Slim Harpo's Excello recording That's Alright, as well as Clifton Chenier's Worried Life Blues, with somewhat chaotic backing. 

As usual with Ace reissues there are copious liner notes in the wonderfully illustrated accompanying booklet, with an overview and comments on the various performances by Ian Saddler.  It does have one incredible gaffe in the comments. He mentions that he thought that Big Fat Woman was previously unissued gem by Lightnin' Slim, but in fact had been issued on a Flyright vinyl LP as I'm Him. One minor point is that the vocal is clearly not that of Lightnin' Slim as it bears no relate ship to the voice on the two other tracks credited to him. Probably the singer on this tracks was Schoolboy Cleve.

The music on Bluesin' By The Bayou is at never less entertaining and there are, as indicated above, a number of exceptional examples of swamp blues that is readily recommended to anyone who loves fifties and sixties, southern down-home blues.

I purchased this CD.

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