Like everything on Memphis Slim's album Goin' Back to Tennessee or Alvin Youngblood Hart's "Tallacatcha" (a Western swing performance worthy of Bob Wills), Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's 1975 Barclay album Down South in the Bayou Country completely transcends any and all attempts to confine this diverse artist within the artificial parameters of blues or any other preordained category. Consisting mostly of songs written by Hoyt Garrick, Jr., Charles Gressett, and David Craig with additional tunes by J. Loyd and Joe Stampley, this pretty parfait of country & western, Southern rock, cowboy hoedown, and electric Cajun soul music was recorded during February and March 1974 in Bogalusa, LA. Gatemouth, fresh from his tenure as Deputy Sheriff of San Juan County, NM, sounds particularly pleased to be active at the center of a project so completely infused with authentic Southern sensibilities. Perhaps the most satisfying track off of the original album is "Loup Garou." This hoodoo funk ritual with background vocals by Geraldine "Sister Gerry" Richard sounds as if it might have been influenced by Dr. John's "Loop Garoo," which had appeared on that artist's Atco album Remedies in 1970.
Like everything on Memphis Slim's album Goin' Back to Tennessee or Alvin Youngblood Hart's "Tallacatcha" (a Western swing performance worthy of Bob Wills), Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's 1975 Barclay album Down South in the Bayou Country completely transcends any and all attempts to confine this diverse artist within the artificial parameters of blues or any other preordained category….
Hardly have we savoured the full taste of “Rhythm ’n’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou” than here comes another bucketful of steaming South Louisiana gumbo and this time it’s “Bluesin’ By The Bayou” – a spicy mix of guitars, harmonicas, and even the occasional accordion, accompanying those tales of despair or machismo that are the recipe for the blues. All the tracks stem from the studios of J.D. Miller in Crowley and Eddie Shuler in Lake Charles. These two men were wonders at spotting talent and getting the best out of the performers, as illustrated on the 28 tracks on this CD.
In the mid-50s, as rock’n’roll swept across the USA, the Cajun youth of South Louisiana and South East Texas absorbed the R&B sounds emanating from New Orleans. This was reflected in their music, making it so distinctive. They thrilled to the sound of Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis and Huey Smith and performed their songs with the bands they formed, while the area’s new breed of songwriters – Bobby Charles, Jimmy Donley, Jivin’ Gene, etc – assimilated the Crescent City style in their work. Swamp pop was born, although the genre had yet to be named.
The ninth release in the “…By The Bayou” series brings you some hot rockers from South Louisiana and Southeast Texas, an area where Cajun culture has had a strong influence over its music – and never more so than in the heyday of real rock’n’roll, the 1950s. Rock’n’roll was a hybrid of C&W and R&B right across the USA, but in Cajun country the influences were more specific; the country music was from Texas, the R&B from New Orleans, and into this mix went rockabilly from Memphis via Shreveport and Cajun music. In this exciting compilation you will find all of those influences to varying degrees.