Monday, January 17, 2011

Louisiana Swamp Stomp reviewed by Steve Jones

Louisiana Swamp Stomp
Various Artists
Honeybee Entertainment
15 tracks

The newly founded Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation is dedicated to raise awareness of brain and spinal cord injuries and to help the funding of neurological research in Louisiana.  Louisiana is significantly deficient in this research because of little available funding. Organized by Paul McCarthy, Ph.D., Buddy Flett was his inspiration for creating the Foundation.  Flett was afflicted with encephalitis and, after many months of treatment and rehab, has returned to the music he loves to play.  Flett was treated at LSU Health Sciences-Shreveport and was instrumental in bringing  Louisiana's blues and cajun musicians out for this great cause.  He also appears on the CD with a mean rendition of “Livin’ Ain’t Easy”.

The CD was produced by Honeybee Entertainment and features 15 superb tracks by a veritable “Who’s Who” of musical greats and some exceptional local favorites like Carol Fran, Lil Buck Senegal and Dwayne Dopsie whose creole blues and zydeco are upbeat and just a joy to listen to.  Larry Garner, who along with Fran, is a surviving stroke victim, offers up some deep guitar blues on “It’s Killing Me” with Stanley Buckwheat Dural Jr assisting him.  They also rollick on “Ms. Boss” to close the set.

Chicago greats also help out for the cause.  Omar Coleman opens the set with the classics “Scratch My Back” and later offers up “Mojo Hand”; the vocals and harp are sublimely greased up and just a load of fun. Henry Gray (originally from Kenner, LA) offers up some of his classic vocals and piano work on “Times Are Getting Hard” and “How Could You Do It” and is as youthful in his approach as he was when he worked with Howlin’ Wolf in the ‘50’s.

Charlene Howard’s “Send Me Someone to Love” tender and soulful.   Little Freddie King offers up a down home  version of “Can’t Do Nothing Babe”.  The highlights of the CD may be Percy Sledge with “First You Cry” and “Swamp Stomp” by Sonny Landreth.  Percy just drips with his charm and sweet voice is in great form; Landreth just wails away on the CD’s hottest track, a classical cajun instrumental.

McCarthy and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith co-produced this great album.  While it was intended as a fundraiser, it is also a marvelous set of tunes crafted by a talented batch of musicians with a deep appreciation for the cause and the music they make.  Any blues and cajun music fan would be proud to own this and would enjoy listening to the fantastic assortment of fine artists giving their all.  This one’s a no brainer-no play on words or insult intended; it helps a great cause and you’ll get many hours of enjoyment with this one!

Reviewed by Steve Jones

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