Various Artists

Goin' down to Louisiana

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The Goldband label recorded a decent share of down-home Louisiana blues between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, with 30 such outings from the period collected onto this CD. It didn't have any Lousiana masters on the order of Slim Harpo, but the material on this disc still makes for acceptable genre fare. While about a third of it appeared on the 1965 Storyville LP The Louisiana Blues, the rest of it did not; ten tracks were previously unissued, and some of the others didn't surface until they appeared on compilations in the 1990s. Certainly the best-known of these cuts are the ones by Juke Boy Bonner, who made effectively moody, grungy electric blues, usually with sluggish rhythms on the ten selections here. The collection also includes material by Ashton Savoy, Al Smith, Tal Miller, Hop Wilson, and Big Chenier that's not as interesting as Bonner's offerings, but has its moments. Most often their electric blues, like Bonner's, has a swampy feel, with Al Smith putting much more vibrato on his voice than most bluesmen do. Hop Wilson gets a great wiggly steel sound on "That Wouldn't Satisfy," and his boogie "Chicken Stuff" is a previously unissued alternate take. Big Chenier, incidentally, is not a pseudonym for Clifton Chenier, although he was Clifton Chenier's uncle. His sound is not zydeco, but a cross between R&B and blues, with just a touch of zydeco influence (most notably on "Come on Little Girl," on which he plays fiddle).

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:50
2 2:34
3 2:35
4 2:46
5 2:29
6 2:41
7 2:14
8 2:48
9 2:38
10 2:34
11 2:40
12 2:09
13 2:56
14 2:34
15 2:26
16 2:31
17 2:48
18 2:58
19 2:10
20 2:21
21 2:02
22 1:37
23 2:02
24 2:39
25 2:38
26 2:18
27 2:25
28 2:37
29 3:18
30 2:09
blue highlight denotes track pick