Various Artists

Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' by the Bayou: Rompin' & Stompin'

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Given the Louisiana R&B scene, the subtitle here does carry some meaning: this is R&B that romps and stomps and rocks and rolls, and it's one hell of a good time. Like its two predecessors -- Rhythm 'n' Bluesin' by the Bayou and Bluesin' by the Bayou (yes, the titles do get a little confusing) -- this features sides recorded by J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Floyd Soileau and Jake Graffagnino, this time adding Sam Montel to the mix. Outside of collectors, those names aren't likely to carry much weight, and the same may be true of the artist names, too. Usually, it's blues acts that are familiar -- Lonesome Sundown and Sugar Boy Crawford sustained a career (but this is a different Big Walter than the famed Chicago harp player) -- but hardly every blues shouter here is known, which is much of the appeal of the collection. By relying on buried gems, this captures a time and place, but this was a time and place that was running headfirst into the zeitgeist, with a whole state learning what it means to rock & roll. Tabby Thomas is the one that keeps yelling out to teenagers -- he recorded Bobby Charles' wild "Teenagers," plus "Teenage Queen" -- but Lester Robertson echoes Chuck Berry with his "Schooldays Schooldays" (Chuck's "Round and Round" provides the title for Crawford's twister, but not the melody). The references to Cajun (Classie Ballou's "Oh Mama (Cajun Blues)") or country (Ivory Jackson's "I'm a Country Boy") are all incidental: this is hopping, jumping, rocking music that was made with the intention of boogying right out of the bayou, but it remained in the vaults, largely until this 2014 set. Maybe none of these 28 songs would've been a hit, but they're all dynamite, intense, and fun rocking R&B that show just how fertile Louisiana was at the dawn of the '60s.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:06
2 2:26
3 2:19
4 2:24
5 2:18
6 2:43
7 2:41
8 1:39
9 2:21
10 2:36
11 2:04
12 1:54
14 2:07
16 2:01
17 1:32
18 2:12
19 2:01
20 2:12
23 4:26
24 2:34
26 2:50
27 2:22
28 1:57
blue highlight denotes track pick