Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

VARIOUS

LOUISIANA SWAMP STOMP

2011-02-04

While New Orleans is the hard partying John Belushi of the Louisiana music scene, the bayous and swamps are the frat house where the real serious stuff goes down. This disc, recorded to support the Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation, shines a light into rooms that would send the Bourbon street crawlers screaming for their mamas. Deep, dark and often sinister, the blues that lurk around every corner on this disc conjure up visions of voodoo goddesses, howling hounds and shotgun welcomes. While there are nods to zydeco, "Traveling Man", (Dwayne Dopsie) dance hall rock, "Swamp Stomp", (Sonny Landreth) and soul, "Send Me Someone to Love", (Charlene Howard), and "First You Cry", (Percy Sledge- yes, the "When a Man Loves a Woman" guy) the bulk of this release focuses on raw blues delivered with a swampy flourish. Omar Coleman slinks his way through Slim Harpo’s "Scratch My Back" and Lightning Hopkin’s "Mojo Hand" while Larry Garner lays down a deep groove on "It’s Killing Me" and "Ms. Boss" that gets a little grease from Buckwheat Zydeco on organ. Little Freddie King’s guitar lines add loads of spice to the straight shuffle groove of "Can’t Do Nothing Babe" which seems positively modern compared to the timeless piano blues laid down by Henry Gray on "Times Are Getting Hard" and "How Could You do It". Guitarist Buddy Flett who’s medical plight inspired this set, lays it all out on the solo track "Livin’ Ain’t Easy" with lyrics that show his strong spirit in the face of adversity- he lost his ability to walk, talk and play guitar when stricken with encephalitis but worked his way back to not only play on this disc but to lead the charge. And what would the blues be without the lure of sex to lift the spirits? Not much, a point that Carol Fran makes that real clear on "I Need To Be Be’d With". Take a trip into this swamp. You might emerge a bit bloody and battered but you’ll have a smile on your face. SMITTY

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.