Liner Note Author: Ian Saddler.
Photographers: Lester Richard; Golen Richard.
Arriving at the 11th volume in their ongoing By the Bayou series, Ace still finds some treasures in the vaults of J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, and Floyd Soileau -- these are the record men who provided the discoveries in the rest of the series -- but also dips into the discographies of Big Howdy and Big B, two imprints run by Hack Kennedy, as well as finding room for selections from the Louisiana indies Richland and Sho-Biz. This expanded scope suggests how Boppin' by the Bayou: Rock Me Mama! spans the length of the bayou, never resting at just zydeco, Cajun, blues, or rockabilly. It flits back and forth between these sounds, opening with the raving "Switch Blade Sam" -- Jeff Daniels yowls about Charlie Brown and Lucy in the opening line and it just gets better from there -- and spends a bit of time in pure rock & roll before Warren Storm slides this into blue-eyed R&B and by the middle of this, there are covers of Hank Williams lying only a few cuts away from accordion-fueled boogie. Most of this could be grouped under a rock & roll bucket -- rock & roll encompassed all these swampy sounds in the late '50s and very early '60s, when all of these sides were recorded -- but the flow of the disc helps emphasize the stylistic differences while also having the momentum of a party. As usual, this disc is pretty much nothing but rarities -- Nathan Abshire, Jivin' Gene, and Storm show up, but that's it -- and that only serves to emphasize what a hotbed of creativity Louisiana was in the years after rock & roll. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine