Another entry in Ace's ongoing series of recordings from the vaults of Louisiana record men J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler -- not partners but rather two producers who shared similar taste and aesthetics -- 2013's Bluesin' by the Bayou may be the best of the bunch. Unlike the similarly minded Rhythm 'N' Bluesin' by the Bayou, there are many stars to be heard on this collection of material originally released on T-Bird, Flyright, Zynn, Folk-Star, Rocko, and Rocket. There are giants here: Slim Harpo and his laconic boogie, his match Lazy Lester, Lightnin' Slim, Clifton Chenier, the king of the zydeco, and Boozoo Chavis. The catch is, a fair number of these heavy-hitters are represented by unreleased cuts and, like on Rhythm 'N' Bluesin', there is a significant chunk of unheard sides here: a full half of the 28 songs here are unearthed for the first time, while several others only saw the light of day on reissues in the '70s and '80s. The fact that so much of this sat in the vaults suggests just how much Miller and Shuler cut, along with the consistently high quality of what they released, because this is uniformly dynamite blues and zydeco. Some of it is down, dirty, and swampy; some of it suggests a nimbleness and tunefulness that could've crossed over onto the R&B charts; some of it is redolent of the bayou with its wailing accordions and breakneck boogie, and all of it is infectious, the kind of record that ignites a party on a grey day.
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