CD Review – Louisiana Swamp Stomp (Honey Bee Entertainment) Various Artists –
My good friend and fellow DJ/Boss/Mentor, Big G, left me this nice little surprise last Saturday night when I got to the station to prepare for my show. Oh my Lord! I can’t stop playing it. It has 15 tracks on it, all of which are hotter than a Louisiana cayenne pepper.
“Louisiana Swamp Stomp” gets off to a fantastic start with Omar Coleman doing a very true to the original rendition of the classic “Scratch My Back”, originally recorded by Slim Harpo.
It’s followed by cuts from many artists you have heard of and many who have been sitting complacently in the background performing with artists such as Howlin’ Wolf. Every single one of them, except for one, hail from Louisiana and it shows. The Louisiana sound is present throughout.
One of my favorites on the record is “Tou’ Les Jours C’est Pas La Meme (Everyday Is Not the Same)” performed to perfection by Carol Fran and featuring David Egan on the piano. It probably has one of the stronger Cajun sounds of all the songs. To my ear, it is as sonically pleasing as anything I have heard from this genre in quite some time. Moreover, to hear Ms. Fran so emotionally performing it here makes even more special, especially when I read that she had suffered a debilitating stroke back in 2007.
Buddy Flett, who performs ”Livin’ Ain’t Easy”, went through major neurological trauma himself after a near fatal case of encephalitis left him in a medically induced coma. When he regained consciousness, he was unable to walk, talk, or play his guitar. A few months later, he was playing his guitar again. In fact, he played it at his own benefit concert!
The proceeds from the sale of this wonderful Louisiana flavored swamp boogie record go to the Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation. In fact, go there to order it. This foundation is the glue that binds this record and attracted so many of the musicians that perform here.
Other artists on this delightfully spicy CD are Little Freddie King doing “Can’t Do Nothing Babe”, Percy Sledge and the Aces Band performing the soulful “First You Cry”, Sonny Landreth singing ”Swamp Stomp”. You are treated once again to Omar Coleman performing “Mojo Hand”, Carol Fran and David Egan performing the wonderful “I Need to Be’d With”. Also, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers doing “Traveling Man”, Larry Garner (featuring Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr.) doing “It’s Killing Me”. In addition, you will hear Charlene Howard on “Send Me Someone To Love”, Henry Gray on ”How Could You Do It”, and finally Mr. Garner and Mr. Dural once again performing, but this time it’s “Ms. Boss”.
One more thing; the artwork for this record is simply amazing. Some of the artists who worked on the cover art and inside jacket are Kathryn Usher, Cassidy Beaux, Dr. Bob Art, Susan Di Pol, and Bobby Wach. The art direction and designer at the helm for the artwork is Al Brandtner. I would gladly hang any one of these pieces in my living room or office. The art here is a fine representation of the music that lives between the covers of this wonderfully produced CD from the great state of Louisiana.
Some of the artists mentioned for the cover art are involved with The Magnolia School located within Jefferson Parrish outside New Orleans. You must go to the website and read about what they do there. If you can, make a donation to them. I’m sure they would greatly appreciate it.