Tag Archives: Cajun music

Song of the Day: “Raining in My Heart” by Excello stalwarts Slim Harpo, Warren Storm, and Lazy Lester

Slim Harpo
With Tropical Storm Lee having battered the central Gulf Coast, specifically south Louisiana, for all of Labor Day weekend, today’s Song of the Day continues the rain theme, with three versions of “Raining in My Heart” by Excello-related artists (or their sidemen) who will be appearing at this month’s 10th annual Ponderosa Stomp. First up, the Excello swamp bluesman who created the anthem, Slim Harpo. Though Harpo is now jamming in that great jukejoint in the sky, Harpo’s primary guitar players — James Johnson and Rudy Richard — are both scheduled to appear at the Stomp’s Excello reunion this year. According to musicologist John Broven in his book “South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous”:

“Rainin’ in My Heart” changed everything for Slim. For a start, The Cash Box warmed to the record: “Slow moaning, earthy blues proves the artist’s meat as he takes the tune for a tuneful ride. A real weeper.” … The mesmerizing “Rainin’ in My Heart” more than justified the reviewer’s optimism. After climbing the R&B charts the record crossed over to the popular ratings and reached No. 34 on the Billboard 100 in the summer of 1961.

Warren Storm, left, with fellow swamp-pop legends, the siblings Van Broussard and Grace Broussard
Next up, a version by brother Warren Storm, who logged many an hour in Jay Miller’s legendary Crowley recording studio playing drums on records by Lazy Lester and other artists with the likes of fellow hired guns: pianists Carol Fran (appearing at the Stomp this year) and Katie Webster; bassist Bobby McBride; guitarists Guitar Gable, Al Foreman, and Pee Wee Trahan; and fiddler/bassist Rufus Thibodeaux, among others. Here is Storm’s own version of “Rainin’ in My Heart”:

And finally, here is a live 1989 version of “Rainin’ in My Heart” by Ponderosa Stomp inspiration Lazy Lester, looking as resplendent as ever in a red Dixie beer baseball cap, now a collector’s item in the wake of the landmark Tulane Avenue brewery’s decimation by Hurricane Katrina and looters galore. We still have a tear in our beer over Dixie’s relocation above the Mason-Dixon line to Wisconsin, which now brews the beverage (presumably) sans its key ingredient of muddy Mississippi River water:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6iAS3nnJmQ

Song of the Day: “Louisiana Man” by Rusty and Doug Kershaw – “swamp people” before “Swamp People” was cool

The History Channel’s Louisiana-set “Swamp People” reality series, which tracks alligator hunters in the marshes from Pierre Part to Port Sulphur and all points in between, has become the most popular show in the network’s history. But let’s not forget the original “swamp people”: Doug and Rusty Kershaw of “Diggy Liggy Lo” and “Louisiana Man” … Continue reading Song of the Day: “Louisiana Man” by Rusty and Doug Kershaw – “swamp people” before “Swamp People” was cool

Song of the Day: “Seven Letters” by Warren Storm (live version with Lil’ Band o’ Gold + original solo cut)

Today’s Song of the Day is the musical epic that inspired young Cajun-rock revivalists Steve Riley and C.C. Adcock to form the supergroup Lil’ Band o’ Gold in the late 1990s. As regular attendees of swamp-pop elder statesman Warren Storm’s Lafayette lounge performances, the duo was captivated by the singer’s powerhouse interpretation of one song … Continue reading Song of the Day: “Seven Letters” by Warren Storm (live version with Lil’ Band o’ Gold + original solo cut)

Song of the Day: “Ba Da” by Bobby Page and the Riff-Raffs featuring Roy “Boogie Boy” Perkins

Swamp-pop pioneer Ernie Suarez, otherwise known as Roy “Boogie Boy” Perkins, makes a triumphant return to the 2011 Ponderosa Stomp after several years’ absence. No doubt he won’t get away without rendering his Meladee-label tear-jerking dirge, “You’re on My Mind,” one of the earliest swamp-pop records. But as today’s Song of the Day – “Ba … Continue reading Song of the Day: “Ba Da” by Bobby Page and the Riff-Raffs featuring Roy “Boogie Boy” Perkins

How Jivin’ Gene squeezed swamp-pop gold from Huey Meaux’s toilet bowl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aratG24Qw58 Ponderosa Stomp fans know that the most magical sounds often emanate from the most primitive of conditions. Take, for instance, the flood of hits that flowed from the legendary 15-by-16-foot hole in the wall that comprised Cosimo Matassa’s original J&M recording studio on Rampart Street. The same with Eddie Shuler’s tiny Goldband studio, which … Continue reading How Jivin’ Gene squeezed swamp-pop gold from Huey Meaux’s toilet bowl