VARIOUS – BLUSIN’ BY THE BAYOU 14 – I’M NOT JIVIN – ACE CD

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.

All of which means we have another feast of classic blues, led by guitar, piano or harmonica, plus a little zydeco from Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis, whose tracks sit comfortably alongside the work of Lonesome Sundown, Jimmy Anderson and our other artists. During the 50s and 60s zydeco was the blues of the French-speaking black population of Louisiana, with the accordion replacing the harmonica as instrument of choice. Today the music is enjoying huge popularity, with thousands of aficionados from across the globe flooding to festivals in Lafayette, Breaux Bridge and other small towns across southwest Louisiana.

So take the opportunity to sit back and listen to the piercing guitars, wailing harmonicas and rolling pianos backing those down-to-earth vocals spilling out their stories of love, woe or defiance down by the bayou. The age of downhome blues may have left us but here is the chance to transport yourself back six decades and feel the heat of the Louisiana night and its rawest music.

Ian Saddler

TRACKS

01 I’m A Lucky Lucky Man – Henry Gray

02 I’m Not Jiving – Juke Boy Bonner

03 Miss Fannie Brown – Lightnin’ Slim

04 Things Gonna Change – Slim Harpo

05 I Don’t Know Why – Boogie Jake

06 I Told My Little Woman – Lazy Lester

07 I’m A Mojo Man – Lonesome Sundown

08 Oh Ho She’s Gone – Boozoo Chavis

09 Everybody Calls Me Crazy – Clifton Chenier

10 Don’t Bring No Friend – Blue Charlie Morris

11 No Use To Worry – Lonesome Sundown

12 PBaby Let’s Burn – Jimmy Anderson

13  Wild About My Baby – Slim Harpo

14 (Roaches In My Kitchen) Trouble At Home Blues – Silas Hogan

15 I Want To Talk To You (Baby) – Elton Anderson

16 Patrol Wagon – Lazy Lester

17 Early One Morning – Ramblin’ Hi Harris

18 She’s Gone – Schoolboy Cleve

19 Don’t Let Her Pin That Charge On Me – Chris Kenner

20 I Feel Like Calling You – Clarence Garlow

21 Bye Bye Catin – Boozoo Chavis

22 Night And Day My Love – Clifton Chenier

23 Late Hour Blues – Henry Clement

24 Cold Chills – Henry Gray

25 Prove Me Guilty – Elton Anderson

26 Sitting Here All Alone – Johnny Sonnier

27 Prisoner’s Song – Vince Monroe (Mr Calhoun)

28 Frankie And Johnny – Jimmy Anderson

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