Ace dug deep into the rock & roll of Louisiana on their Boppin' by the Bayou series, but 2013's Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' by the Bayou takes a different route, exploring the jumping blues and R&B of the African-American singers of the post-rock & roll era. Strangely, this collection of obscure sides -- there are absolutely no stars or cult acts among these 28 names -- are dirtier and grittier than anything on the two previous Boppin' by the Bayou discs, rocking harder and funkier than the hillbilly cats on those collections. Here, you can hear who the singers pattern themselves after -- Jimmy Anderson wants to be Jimmy Reed on "Don't Do That to Me," Jerry Morris' "Clema" is a wonderfully clumsy rip on Little Richard -- and that's part of the appeal of these songs, as they're alternately desperate attempts for a hit and simple, down-and-dirty R&B workouts. Some traces of zydeco and New Orleans R&B can be heard -- Rockin' Sidney opens this whole thing with "Rocky," after all -- but this is all pretty gritty, rocking R&B, the kind that walks the fine line between rock & roll and rhythm & blues. Much of this gets by on feel rather than song, but who wants to complain about that? There are enough strong songs here to anchor the compilation, and the whole thing raves like a never-ending party.
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