CD Bayou Bluegrass (CD 685322),
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Bayou Bluegrass

  • 1. Calinda
    2. Run, Boy, Run
    3. Liza Jane
    4. My Last Dollar Is Gone
    5. Old Dan Tucker
    6. Lakes of Ponchartrain, The
    7. Rabbit, Where's Your Mammy?
    8. Underneath the Weeping Willow
    9. Chicken Pie
    10. Kissin' Cousins
    11. Woodchuck in the Deadnin'
    12. Poor Man
    13. Whoah, Mule, Whoah
    14. Great Big Billy Goat
    15. Bill Cheatum
    16. Raisin' a Ruckus Tonight
    17. Fisher's Hornpipe, The
    18. East Bound Train - (previously unreleased)
    19. Hop Light Ladies - (previously unreleased)
    20. Silver Dagger - (previously unreleased)
    21. Mama Don't Allow - (previously unreleased)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9032

  • Credits
    ProducerChris Strachwitz; Chris Strachwitz (Reissue)
    EngineerDr. Harry Oster

    & The Louisiana Honeydrippers.
    Personnel: Jim Smoak (vocals, banjo); V.J. Meyers (vocals, guitar); J.C. Meyers (vocals, mandolin); Bucky Wood, Dewey Edwards (fiddle); Lum York (bass).
    Recorded at Baton Rouge. Louisiana in 1961. Includes liner notes by Chris Strachwitz and Harry Oster.h
    Personnel: Jim Smoak (vocals, banjo).
    Liner Note Authors: Chris Strachwitz; Harry Oster.
    Recording information: Baton Rouge, LA (1961).
    While banjoist Jim Smoak isn't well-known in bluegrass circles, his credentials are excellent. Smoak played and recorded with Bill Monroe in the early '50s and, following a stint in the army, played with Hylo Brown. In 1960 Smoak returned to the south and put together the Louisiana Honeydrippers for a recording session with Harry Oster. One can immediately pick up the influence of Monroe and the more rustic strains of tradition on Bayou Bluegrass. Smoak's old-time vocals seem just right for folk tunes like "Liza Jane," "Old Dan Tucker," and "Mama Don't Allow," and the band's accompaniment, more reminiscent of 1946 than 1960, seems just right. The ingredient that separates these songs and instrumentals from other traditional albums, however, is the "Bayou" factor, which is provided alternately by fiddlers Dewey Edwards and Bucky Wood. Edwards' bow work on "Rabbit, Where's Your Mammy?" and "The Fisher's Hornpipe" gives these pieces a real Cajun flavor. Smoak reinforces this old-time Cajun feel by using claw-hammer and single-note style, respectively, on these pieces. Several songs, including "East Bound Train" and "Underneath the Weeping Willow," are smoothed out a bit by J.C and V.J. Meyers' fine harmony. Bayou Bluegrass is a vital disc, full of inspired performances and lots of deft picking. The 2002 reissue includes four previously unreleased bonus cuts. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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