BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU-MORE DYNAMITE.
BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU-MORE DYNAMITE.
Back in May 2013, Ace Records released Bluesin’ By The Bayou, a compilation of “low down, dirty and greasy blues from Louisiana.” With some zydeco thrown in for good measure by compiler Ian Saddler, Bluesin’ By The Bayou was a potent musical cocktail. The music on Bluesin’ By The Bayou was recorded at J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler’s studios in Louisiana. For the followup to Bluesin’ By The Bayou, the recently released Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite, which was recently released by Ace Records, compiler Ian Saddler has dug deeper.
Not only does Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite feature tracks recorded at J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler’s studios, but tracks recorded at Carol Rachou and Charles “Dago” Redlich’s studios. Each producer had their own approach to recording.
When Eddie Shuler’s career started, he had no studio. So he had to take his artists to radio stations to record them. Eventually, when he became a successful producer and label owner, he had his own studios in Lake Charles. That was where Eddie recorded countless singles. Eddie continually studied his artists, watching their technique and was constantly, looking for ways they could improve them as artists. Once Eddie had his own studio, this was easier, because he wasn’t constantly having to think of the budget. This allowed him to take longer, and produce better music. So did J.D. Miller, although this was a constant struggle.
J.D. Miller is best described as a perfectionist. He set his standards high, and was known to constantly rerecord a track over and over. This was all part of his constant quest for musical nirvana. While J.D. would rerecord tracks, he was known to constantly rebuild his studios. Many times, J.D. stripped his Crowley studio and rebuilt it. All this was in his quest for perfection. Another producer striving for perfections was Charles “Dago” Redlich. He was J.D. Miller’s brother-in-law, a new name that features on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite.
Charles “Dago” Redlich owned a record shop in Lafayette. From his own record shop, he ran his own label, Viking. Unlike other producers, he didn’t own his own studio. Luckily, he was J.D. Miller’s brother-in-law. So when he wanted to record an artist, he used J.D. Miller’s studios. That’s where he recorded the artist he enjoyed the most success with, Johnnie Allan. He was one of a whole host of artists Charles produced.
The other producer to feature on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite is Carol Rachou and Charles. His studios were state-of-the-art. That’s why they were the choice of producers and artists looking for a studio. Packed with the latest equipment, this innovative room produced great sounding music. That’s because of the La Louisianne studio’s equipment, acoustics and design. That was where Carol Rachou made the music that features on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite.
Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite features music from J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Carol Rachou and Charles “Dago” Redlich. There’s twenty-eight tracks on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite. This includes eighteen previously unreleased tracks. They’re part of what is an explosive and intoxicating compilation, Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite, which I’ll pick the highlights of.
Opening Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite is Peto Marlow and The Rhythm Kings’ Rock and Roll Beat, one of the eighteen previously unreleased tracks. Here Peto pays homage to the music that inspired his love of music, rock ‘n’. After being signed by J.D. Miller, he recorded and released a string of singles. This is a blistering slice of good time rock ‘n’ roll. It should’ve been released as a single. Sadly, it wasn’t. Instead, it’s an explosive way to open Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite.
Vince Anthony and The Blue Notes featured on Bluesin’ By The Bayou. They released Clarabel in 1960, on Charles “Dago” Redlich’s Viking label. Over fifty years later, Vince Anthony and The Blue Notes are still playing around Louisiana. If Clarabel is an example of their music, no wonder. A stomping, rocky track unfolds, and Vince vamps his way through the lyrics, Accompanying him are rasping, growling horns and pounding beat. The result is an irresistible track that brings back memories of what music used to sound like.
Bobby Charles is an artist who played an important part in the development of swamp pop. He was there at the birth of the genre, and is remembered as one of the inventors of swamp pop. So it’s only fitting that one of his tracks feature on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite. Teenager has never been released before. Driven along by swinging, blazing horns and chiming guitars, Bobby’s vocal is a sassy, feisty vamp on what is, a swamp pop hidden gem.
Rocket Morgan, or to give him his real name Claylel Rod “Rocket” Morgan is another artist who featured on Bluesin’ By The Bayou. He makes a return on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite not once, but twice. Gonna Walk Back Home (a.k.a. Walkin’ Home) and the medley of Sweet Love On My Mind/Let’s Play House are a tantalizing taste of one of rockabilly’s best kept secrets. Why best kept secrets? Well, Rocket found religion, and turned his back on music. That’s why these tracks a poignant reminder of Rocket Morgan, at his explosive best.
Originally, Merton Thibodeaux started off playing bass on J.D. Miller’s sessions. From bass, he eventually switched to piano, proving a regular at sessions at the Crowley studios. Merton was also a recording artist, but never had any of his music released. His early cuts were described as hillbilly. As for Big Basile, a track he recorded for J.D. Miller, it’s A fusion of country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll all rolled into one. The harmonies and growling saxophone are the finishing touch to Big Basile.
Rick Johnson recorded for various labels, before recorded Eeenie Meenie Minnie Mo for the J.D. Miller’s Flyright label. It’s rockabilly at its very best. Why this wasn’t released until 1983, seems strange? Surley J.D saw the potential in the track? Mind you, better late than never.
As Dayward Penny’s I’m Coming Home unfolds, he sounds not unlike Johnny Cash. His needy vocal is full of longing. Behind him, country guitars are ever-present, and later, boogie woogie piano create a backdrop for his vocal. When he sings “I’m coming home,” this sounds realistic. Maybe that’s because he’d just come home from the Korean War. So he knew about loneliness and longing. After that, Dayward tried all manner of businesses, but with varying degrees of success. The one thing that the remained the same, was his love of music.
Tommy Strange’s Nervous and Rockin’ All Over was released on Rocko Records in 1958. By then he was just twenty-two, but sounded like a musical veteran. Think Jerry Lee Lewis with a touch of Eddie Cochran thrown in for good measure and that describes Tommy Strange’s performance on Nervous and Rockin’ All Over, one of the highlights of Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite.
Al Ferrier enjoyed commercial success as a solo artist and as Al Ferrier and His Boppin’ Billies. Blues Stop Knockin’ was a track he recorded for Eddie Shuler’s Goldband Records. It was never released though. Thankfully, it’s one of the eighteen tracks Ian Saddler included on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite. His vocal is Elvis-esque, dramatic an dripping emotion. This results in track where elements of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and country play their part of this blistering, rocky version of Blues Stop Knockin.’ Sadly, Al Ferrier is yet another artist who neither enjoyed the commercial success nor critical acclaim his talented deserved.
Larry Hart’s Oh Nellie is my final choice from Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite. A Texan, Larry headed to Louisiana where he became Larry Hart. Having dawned this cloak, he joined forces with Eddie Shuler at Goldband Records. They proved a potent partnership, as the previously unreleased Oh Nellie demonstrates. With a vampish quivering vocal, some good time piano and pounding rhythm section, this is vintage rock ‘n’ roll.
Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite picks up where Louisiana,” Bluesin’ By The Bayou left off. This means more “low down, dirty and greasy blues from Louisiana.” There’s also rockabilly, country, rock ‘n’ roll, zydeco and swamp pop. Quite simply, Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite is an introduction to the music of Louisiana. An rich and eclectic selection of music, there’s ten tracks that have been released before, plus eighteen previously unreleased tracks. It’s compelling, enthralling, eclectic and mesmeric musical journey. That’s thanks to Ian Saddler’s crate-digging skills.
Ian’s dug deep into the vaults of four Louisiana producer’s vaults. These are J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Carol Rachou and Charles “Dago” Redlich. Eventually, he’s settled on twenty-eight tracks. A mixture of familiar faces, rarities and hidden gems, it’s a journey back to another musical era, where the music of Louisiana comes to life. Eighteen tracks have never seen the light of day before. That’s a great shame. Music deserves to be heard, not lie unloved in a record company’s vaults. Instead, it should be where people can enjoy. That’s where compiler Ian Saddler and Ace Records come in. They’re responsible for Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite, a fitting followup to Bluesin’ By The Bayou.
Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite, just like its predecessor Bluesin’ By The Bayou are the perfect introduction to the music of Louisiana during the late-fifties and early sixties. They conjur up images of Louisiana, during another musical era. The music on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite is also emotive and evocative. That describes the music on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite perfectly. Just like Bluesin’ By The Bayou, Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite sounds like the music you’d hear in a Louisiana juke joint, late at night, with a bourbon in one hand and cigarette in the other. Ace Records supply the music on Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite, all you need to supply are the cigarettes and whiskey. Standout Tracks: Dayward Penny I’m Coming Home, Tommy Strange Nervous and Rockin’ All Over Al Ferrier Blues Stop Knockin,’ Larry Hart Oh Nellie.
BOPPIN’ BY THE BAYOU-MORE DYNAMITE.