Various - Bayou Rockabilly Cats (CD)

Various - Bayou Rockabilly Cats (CD)


By Dave Sax

Ace has long held a strong commitment to South Louisiana music in all its fascinating forms and has licensed the material of nearly all of the area’s famed producers. Many a superb and comprehensive compilation – covering styles ranging from cajun music and swamp pop to rock’n’roll and rhythm & blues – has been issued over the years. A recent landmark was a definitive collection of the very first cajun singles recorded by Floyd Soileau (Ace CDCH 743) the earliest of which date back even prior to the founding of his Swallow label. One of Ace’s many earlier achievements was the award winning Iry LeJeune collection. Renewed attention to Eddie Shuler’s Goldband and FolkStar labels has resulted in what will come to be seen as the two ultimate collections of Eddie’s early rockabilly and rock’n’ roll recordings.

Certainly this exciting project brings some nostalgia to me, as my mind goes back nearly 35 years to the time when I first got the chance to pick up beautiful shiny red label Goldband originals. At that time, London collectors including myself used to pay weekly visits to an establishment in Soho known as Transat Imports. Bob, the proprietor, had a tiny basement hangout stacked full of Excello, silver top Chess and early red Peacock 45s (not to mention a shelf full of Frank Frost LPs!) Bob learned, as did the rest of us, of the previously unknown Goldband label through the writings of researcher Mike Leadbitter. Mike had visited Eddie at his Lake Charles television repair shop and recording studio originally seeking blues and in particular Juke Boy Bonner. Eddie soon turned him onto cajun music, which had previously been virtually unknown outside the area.

Few cajun records appeared at Transat – but there was a wide selection of Eddie’s best R&B and rockabilly records. It was here that we first heard and quickly bought originals of Al Ferrier’s No, No Baby and My Baby Done Gone Away. By the time the decade of the 60s reached its close, many a record dealer had beaten a path to Eddie’s door and his small original stock was long gone. Demand remained high for Ferrier’s records and Eddie was compelled to search out alternate takes, since the pressing plants had never returned the master tapes which he had originally been unable to make copies of. At the same time, another record producer told him that his record did not have enough bass response on them for modern markets. This was actually only true in a few cases and could have been corrected by good remastering but Eddie was regrettably convinced to overdub electric bass on to every recording that he subsequently reissued, both on 45 and on LP.

As a result, a unique situation exists in that the acknowledged classics of Al Ferrier and many others have only been heard in their original form by the very fortunate few who have the first pressings of the singles. Not only did the electric bass change the whole character of the sound, but later generations of listeners were also listening to often inferior alternate takes. Al Ferrier’s hillbilly band created primal backwoods rockabilly during the magical 1954 to late 1955 period before Elvis Presley’s popularity exploded nationwide and rockabilly music took a more standardized form. The first collection, Bayou Rockabilly Cats (CDCHD 744) is now available and explores the unvarnished recordings of the early era just as they sounded on the day they were recorded.

Included is Hopeless Homer’s great New Way Rockin’ which has never been reissued on any LP or CD (we even learn his true identity!) and early boppers by the blue collar hillbilly bands of Bill & Carroll and Red Le Blanc. Pianist Bee Arnold’s ground-breaking white R&B featuring Spider’s dangerously over-amplified guitar and the rare and frantic 78 take of Ray Vict’s Bop, Stop, Rock are also included along with much more. Most of us will never have heard the sensational stomping Jambalaya Boogie by Eddie Shuler’s Reveliers from an intensely rare blac

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  • 1. Al Ferrier & the Boppin' Billies - No No Baby
  • 2. Al Ferrier & the Boppin' Billies - I'll Never Do Any Wrong
  • 3. Eddie Shuler's All Star Reveliers - Jambalaya Boogie
  • 4. Hopeless Homer - New Way Rockin'
  • 5. Hopeless Homer - The Girl In The Red Blue Jeans
  • 6. Bill & Carroll & the Neches Valley Boys - Love Me Just A Little Bit
  • 7. Bill & Carroll & the Neches Valley Boys - My Blue Letter
  • 8. Al Ferrier & the Boppin' Billies - My Baby Done Gone Away
  • 9. Al Ferrier & the Boppin' Billies - It's Too Late Now
  • 10. Bee Arnold with Amos Como's Tune Toppers - Plant You Now, Dig You Later
  • 11. Bee Arnold & the Tune Toppers - Way Down Under Blues
  • 12. Red Le Blance & his Crescent Boys - Memory In My Heart
  • 13. Red Le Blance & his Crescent Boys - I Love That Woman (Right Or Wrong)
  • 14. Bill Hutto & his Playboys - Wanna Go Steady
  • 15. Jerry Noble & the Plantation Playboys - Mabel's Done Gone
  • 16. Red Le Blance & his Crescent Boys - Freed My Silly Mind
  • 17. Red Le Blance & his Crescent Boys - Blue Moon On The Bayou
  • 18. Al Ferrier & his Boppin' Billies - What Is This Thing Called Love
  • 19. Al Ferrier & his Boppin' Billies - Honey Baby
  • 20. Bill & Carroll with the Neches Valley Boys - Honest To Goodness Baby
  • 21. Bill & Carroll with the Neches Valley Boys - Feel So Good
  • 22. Little Billy Earl - Couple In The Car
  • 23. Little Billy Earl - Honey Baby-O
  • 24. Don Mooring with the Yellow Jackets - Love Me Mary Ann
  • 25. Buck Wheat & his Wheatbinders - Texas Woman
  • 26. Buck Wheat - Twitterpated

Lisää samalta artistilta: Various