SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU.

SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU.

When the first compilation of Swamp Pop was released back in the early seventies, it was a genre without a name. So, the compilation was simply called, The Other Sound Of The South. Then Bill Millar coined the term Swamp Pop. That day, a new musical genre was born. Swamp Pop is still as popular today, as back in the late-fifties, when some of the music on Swamp Pop By The Bayou was first released.

Swamp Pop By The Bayou is the latest instalment in Ian Saddler’s By The Bayou series. It was recently released on Ace Records and is the seventh compilation in the By The Bayou compilation series. There are twenty-eight tracks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou. Fourteen of the tracks were released between 1959 and 1964. This includes tracks from Vince Anthony With The Blue Notes, Jay Richards & The Blues Kings, Warren Storm, Rocket Morgan, Frankie Lowery and John Fred. Then there’s fourteen previously unreleased track. Among them, are tracks from Guitar Jeff, George, Tommy Strange, Bee Arnold and Rocket Morgan. For anyone interested in Swamp Pop, this mixture of familiar faces and hidden gems will be essental listening. I’ll tell now you why.

Ian Saddler couldn’t have picked a better track to open Swamp Pop By The Bayou than Vince Anthony With The Blue Notes’ Sneakin’ Home. It’s a glorious example of Swamp Pop. Written by Vincent Anthony Guzetta, it was released in 1959 on Hilton Records. Crucial to the track’s success are the rasping horns and Vince’s sultry vocal. This isn’t the only track from Vince Anthony With The Blue Notes. Cry Your Eyes Out is billed as Donnie Williams and The Blue Notes. However, it’s actually Vince Anthony With The Blue Notes. Released on Hilton Records in 1960, Vince’s heartbroken vocal means this track falls into the category of tearjerker.

Warren Storm has a trio of racks on Swamp Pop By The Bayou. As if that’s not enough, he plays drums on several tracks. His first contribution is Oh Oh Baby, which was released on J.D. Miller’s Rocko label in 1959. Slow, with a heartfelt, needy vocal this is the best track from the man many people refer to as the Godfather of Swamp Pop. Warren’s other contributions are This Life I Live and the heartbreaking I’m Leaving You. Neither of these tracks have been released before. However, their quality is indisputable.

Rocket Morgan has been a regular contributor to the By The Bayou series. Usually, he’s singing rockabilly. He’s equally at home singing Swamp Pop. Proof of this is Too High A Price (To Pay For Love). Released on Zynn in 1959, it features a rueful, wistful vocal from Rocket. It’s as if he’s come to his senses. Did You Leave Something Else (For Me) is a more uptempo track. Again, it was released in 1959, on Zynn. Driven along by braying horns and jangling piano, Rocket’s vocal is tinged with hurt  and heartache. Walkin’ Home, a piano driven track is Rocket’s final contribution. Remarkably, given its quality, this hidden gem has never been released before. Thankfully, Ian Saddler has rectified this.

I Ain’t Had No Sleep is Frankie Lowery first contribution to Swamp Pop By The Bayou. It’s a blistering horn driven track, that epitomises what Swamp Pop’s all about. Strangely, the track has never been released before. It’s a real find. Ian Saddler has struck gold here, as it’s one of the highlights of the compilation. Infectiously catchy describes this track. There’s no let up in quality on She’s Walking Towards Me. Here, Frankie is transformed into a balladeer. Released in 1960, on Zynn, heartfelt and hopeful describes Frankie’s tender, needy vocal. 

Lonely Lonely Heart is the first of two unreleased tracks from Tommy Strange. His vocal oozes emotion and heartbreak on this ballad. When his vocal drops out, it’s replaced by a crystalline guitar solo. It’s one of the finest guitar solos on Swamp Pop By The Bayou. Having set the scene for Tommy’s  return, his vocal veers between hopeful and heartbroken. He sings the lyrics like he’s lived them. Tommy’s other contribution is  a previously unreleased alternate version of What Am I To Do is. The original version of What Am I To Do was the B-Side to Nervous and Shakin’ All Over, which was released as a single on the Rocko label.

Charles Page released No Season On Squeezing as a single in 1961. This was one of six singles Charles released on Goldhand Records. It was produced by Eddie Shuler. He had great hopes for Charles Page. Commercial success, Eddie hoped, was just around the corner. Sadly, that wasn’t to be. That’s despite this being a hook laden slice of Swamp Pop.

The version of Doug Charles and The Boogie Kings’ You’re On My Mind on Swamp Pop By The Bayou, has never been released before. It’s an alternate version of this slow, sultry ballad. With growling horns propelling the arrangement along, Doug dawns the role of crooner. This is a role he seems to relish and delivers a beautiful, heartfelt vocal masterclass.

My final choice from Swamp Pop By The Bayou is Buck Rogers and His Jets’ Rose Marie. Its another unreleased track. Again, Ian Saddler has struck musical gold. Infectiously catchy and full of hooks, describes this alternate version of Rose Marie. It’s a track that’s guaranteed to fill any dance-floors By The Bayou.

Just like the previous six volumes of the By The Bayou compilation series, Swamp Pop By The Bayou oozes quality. So much so, that I could literally have chosen any of the twenty-eight tracks. Eventually, I settled for just fourteen tracks. They come courtesy of familiar faces and new friends. 

The familiar faces include Vince Anthony With The Blue Notes, Jay Richards & The Blues Kings, Warren Storm, Rocket Morgan, Frankie Lowery and John Fred. Then there’s unreleased tracks from Guitar Jeff, George, Tommy Strange, Bee Arnold and Rocket Morgan. Among these unreleased tracks are musical gold. These hidden gems have you shaking your head and wondering why these tracks have never been released before? These timeless Swamp Pop gems mean Swamp Pop By The Bayou is essential listening for anyone  interested in Swamp Pop. The same can be said of the By The Bayou series.

Swamp Pop By The Bayou, which was recently released by Ace Records, is the seventh release in the By The Bayou series. It seems that with each instalment, the quality of music gets even better. That’s down to Ian Saddler’s crate digging skills and impeccable music taste. Ian’s a man steeped in Louisiana’s rich and eclectic musical history. He knows where to find the hidden gems that have peppered the seven volumes of By The Bayou. However, Ian’s surpassed himself on Swamp Pop By The Bayou. He’s dug deeper than he’s ever dug before on Swamp Pop By The Bayou and takes the listener on a compelling, enthralling and mesmeric musical journey through Louisiana’s musical past. 

SWAMP POP BY THE BAYOU.

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