Howdy music lovers!
We’re taking an excursion to the CD section of the shop today, an area that has not been visited so much in these newsletters. We have masses of great CDs covering all the genres we love, Rockabilly, Rhythm and Blues Blues, Rock n Roll, Soul, 60s Punk and Garage and current bands recording in these styles.
Rather than trying to explore all of it we would like to direct you to six issues from the fabulous “By The Bayou” series from Ace records. We have a real soft spot for music from the state of Louisiana (we even used to run a Louisiana only night called Rock-a-Bayou) but for a demonstration of real passion, dedication and hard work in bringing the music of the Bayou state to the rest of the world we should all offer grateful thanks to Ian Saddler.
Ace records already had the rights to Goldband and Jin/Swallow Records amongst others but Ian managed to acquire the Jay Miller archive for them which he describes as “the biggie”. But I am not going into all the minutiae here because every CD comes with a colour booklet jammed with facts and pictures.
The series is up to volume 22 and still going super strong. Each CD is devoted to one genre of Louisiana music so you get “Rhythm and Blusin’ by the Bayou” “Swamp Pop by the Bayou” “Blusin’ by the Bayou”, “Boppin’ by the Bayou” (Rockabilly) and “Vocal Groups by the Bayou”. Some people buy every issue and some prefer to stick to the ones that cover one particular style but everyone who buys them comes back for more.
The topper to all this is absolutely tons of previously unissued tracks.
I know I said we were looking at CDs but a couple of tracks have been lifted from the CDs and issued on 45 and it is two killers that, until this series, were unissued.
An explosive package of rockabilly and rock n roll rockers from the vaults of South Louisiana’s record men: J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Carol Rachou and Charles “Dago” Redlich.
On this tenth volume in the “By The Bayou” series, the third to focus on R&B, we have 28 tracks from the vaults of J.D. Miller’s Crowley studio, Eddie Shuler’s Goldband facility, Floyd Soileau’s Rod label, Sam Montel’s Montel label and Golen Richard’s Richland imprint, all from South Louisiana.
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.
Setting out on the “By The Bayou” journey, I didn’t envisage reaching CD 12. The project started as a vehicle for white Louisiana rockers, but exploration of the tape vaults of J.D. Miller and the catalogues of Eddie Shuler’s Goldband, Floyd Soileau’s Jin, Sam Montelbano’s Montel and Joe Ruffino’s Ric and Ron labels revealed more than enough great vocal group material to fill a dedicated CD. So here is a collection of chanting rockers and sweet harmonies, rather overlooked as ingredients which go into the rich gumbo of South Louisiana music of the 50s.
In the late 50s and early 60s Saturday nights in South Louisiana and the little corner of South East Texas that was home to many Cajun families resounded to the music that would become known as swamp pop. It was music for dancing and remains popular. Sure, the couples on the dance floor may be a little older now but they still cling as tightly on the slow numbers – the “buckle polishers” – and show some fancy steps to set the skirts a-swirlin’ on the faster tunes.
Killer ruff and rugged unissued Louisiana Rockabilly 2 sider. Both sides taken from the excellent Ace ‘Boppin By The Bayou’ cd series.
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