on 20 February 2014
One in a series of 'By The Bayou' CDs and if you know what a bayou is, you're in Louisiana territory. This set is titled 'Rhythm'n'Bluesin' by the Bayou: Rompin' & Stompin'' and I presume you may be familiar with the others in the series (deep breath): 'Bluesin' By...', 'Boppin' By...', 'Boppin' By...Again', 'Boppin' By...More Dynamite' and 'Rhythm'n'Bluesin' By the Bayou', the predecessor to this, the latest in the line. We're promised by compiler and bloke who wrote the notes Ian Saddler, the series will go on to infinity, or longer, no bad thing at all.
Of the 28 tracks here, 19 of them are 'new', by virtue of being either previously unissued, or alternate takes, to the delight of collectors. Precise dating is a bit tricky, but 1958/62 will do. Labels covered include Montel, Jin, Carl, Michelle and Kry. Artists aside, the whole package is a paean of praise to JD Miller, Eddie Shuler, Sam Montel, Floyd Soileau and Carl Graffagnino, top independent record men of South Louisiana.
To the music. After a whisper of engineer (?) input, Tabby Thomas blasts off in rockin' r&b style, and it doesn't let up until "California Blues", an easy lope, aka "KC Lovin'", with slight lyric changes. Johnny Sonnier gives the first slowie, thereafter things pick up a tad, second outing for Mr Thomas offers a delightful N.O. bouncer, Little Victor essays a version of "Lawdy. Miss Clawdy". Charles Shefield's is nothing to do with Hooker's title of same name. Oddest cut here is Classie Ballou's "Oh Mama (Cajun Blues)...", a slow combo of Cajun and English lyrics, minimal backing, acoustic guitar, hand clapping, muted percussion, shouts, on a long alternate take, bit of chat at end. Odd maybe, but thoroughly enjoyable.
Katie Webster and Ashton Savoy give us a piano-led walkin' blues, "Tomorrow" is a class vocal, "Lucille" a slightly slower version of the Little Richard classic, Lester Robertson is accompanied by yer actual Upsetters, we exit on a fairly frantic rocker, with breaks by by trombone, sax and guitar. In fact sax and guitar are the lead instruments throughout, with some harp and piano. As you'd expect, all artists get a full, more-or-less note, there are pix and label scans and Mr Saddler isn't above correcting a couple of mistakes in previous comps in the series. Interestingly, he apparently wrote these notes in 2015...
I wouldn't have argued had this been title 'ROCKIN'n'Bluesin'...', but perhaps that's for later release. Great CD.