Cajun Swamp Music Live

Clifton Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band

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Cajun Swamp Music Live Review

by Stephen Cook

By the time this album came out, Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band were beginning to receive the kind of widespread acclaim they so much deserved. They had already built a firm reputation on the heels of several fine Arhoolie-released records and countless hours on the road. Now, Cajun Swamp Music Live finds Chenier and company taking their juicy act beyond the Gulf Coast circuit to the main stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Taped in the late '70s, the 18 choice cuts feature the band repaying the adoration of a charged crowed with a non-stop run of inspired performances. Mixing in his standard variety of zydeco and blues-fueled vocals and instrumentals, Chenier wows the Swiss patrons with both his fine accordion workouts and wry in-between-song banter (he alternates between English and Cajun French for the mostly French-speaking audience). Also including top-drawer contributions from his band -- including brother Cleveland Chenier on rubboard, Robert Pet on drums, and Paul Senegal on guitar -- Cajun Swamp Music Live is an album all Chenier fans will definitely want to pick up.