Release Date: 2001
Label: Ace Records
- The Promised Land – Johnnie Allan
- Sea Cruise – Frankie Ford
- Pine Grove Blues – Nathan Abshire & The Pine Grove Boys
- Lache Pas La Patate – Jimmy C Newman
- Sugar Bee – Cleveland Crochet
- Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye – Danny White
- Recorded In England – Rod Bernard
- Another Sleepless Night – Belton Richard
- Don’t You Just Know It – Huey “Piano” Smith & The Clowns
- Mathilda – Cookie & The Cupcakes
- Equand J’etais Pauvre – Dewey Balfa
- Jolie Blonde – Jimmy C Newman
- My Toot Toot – Rockin’ Sidney
- Reconsider Me – Margret Lewis
- French Rocking Boogie – Shirley Bergeron
- La Valse De Grand Bois – The Balfa Brothers
- Boogie In The Mud – Danny James
- Mojo Hannah – Tami Lynn
While no single CD collection could possibly encompass all of the important indigenous music of Louisiana, This Is Louisiana is as comprehensive as an 18 track CD could possibly hope to be. Containing all of the important musical styles of Louisiana, it is in many ways a musical tour of the state, and an enjoyable one at that.
Our first stop is appropriately New Orleans, where it all began. This collection includes perhaps the finest example of New Orleans rock’n’roll ever made – Frankie Ford’s fabulous 1959 hit Sea Cruise. The composer was the brilliant Huey “Piano” Smith who, along with his group the Clowns, also contribute the memorable, Don’t You Just Know It.
Heading west from New Orleans on Interstate 10, after passing through the state capitol of Baton Rouge and crossing the Atchafalaya River Basin, you’ve entered Acadiana – Cajun country. This Is Louisiana includes several tracks by the major architects of Cajun music including Jimmy Newman’s version of the timeless classic Jolie Blonde, a song many Louisianians consider their national anthem.
No less creative, the Creole people that live in Southwest Louisiana combined traditional French music with rhythm and blues and came up with their own accordion-led dance music – zydeco. The word zydeco is Creole slang for les haricots (snap beans), and it was used in the old Creole song Les Haricots Sont Pas Sale (The Snap Beans Aren’t Salty). This collection includes the most popular zydeco song of all time, My Toot Toot by Rockin’ Sidney, an often covered international hit from 1984.
Perhaps the most overlooked style of indigenous Louisiana music is Swamp Pop, which was aptly described by one musician as, “Half (Fats) Domino, half fais do-do”. In layman’s terms, swamp pop is a mixture of New Orleans R&B, Cajun music and country, with its main influence the great Fats Domino. This Is Louisiana contains several of the leading swamp pop artists including Cookie and The Cupcakes’s version of Mathilda, the virtual blueprint for Louisiana swamp pop.
Louisiana’s contribution to popular music represents the irrepressible vitality and the bond of ethnocentricity of the area. This Is Louisiana is more than just a collection of the state’s great music, it’s a testament to tradition.
by JEFF HANNUSCH