FOLC044 - Bo Gumbo – Various Artistes – Stompin’ Cajun, Zydeco, Blues & Country

by FOLC RECORDS

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about

‘Hey Bo Gumbo! Jambalaya!
Gumbo cooking on the fire.
Hey Bo Gumbo! Jambalo!
We’re gonna dance to the zydeco.
Jambalo! Jambaly!’

For those of you who might not know, Bo Gumbo was a legendary musical chef from the bayous of Louisiana. A big man with an ever bigger appetite! He cooked up a hot boudin, a mean gumbo and a smoking jambalaya. He also cooked up a spicy blend of swamp blues, Cajun and zydeco. To his memory and the greats of Cajun and zydeco music this album is dedicated.

On this long playing record you will hear music inspired by the sounds of Louisiana and America’s ‘Deep South’; a veritable gumbo of swamp blues, Cajun, zydeco, country, gospel swamp pop and suchlike. All tracks feature the ultra-prolific Sir Bald aka Hipbone Slim (generally but not exclusively on guitar and voice) together with his band the Kneetremblers and various other musical friends: Mama Rosin, Slim Cyder, Achille Lorenz and Juke Boy Barkus. We think you may be surprised to find where the musicians featured originate. Still we are confident you will greatly enjoy the pepper hot music contained within the micro-grooves herein; music played in a style and feel that you might not normally associate with the plains of South Oxfordshire, the hills of Lorraine or the swamps of Geneva!

Five cuts on this album feature UK rock ‘n’ roll heavyweights ‘Hipbone Slim and The Kneetremblers’ in cahoots with Swiss ‘Combat Cajun’ kings ‘Mama Rosin’. After meeting at a festival in Northern France some years ago these two somewhat diverse musical combos joined forces, recorded and shared a stage on many occasions. Some of you may own the ‘Mama Rosin together with Hipbone Slim’ album ‘Louisiana Sun’ on Voodoo Rhythm records? We would thoroughly recommend it to you all! If you liked it you will surely like this record too. We are happy to report that we have retrieved and rescued a number of top notch previously thought of as ‘lost’ tracks from their various recording sessions. With a little reworking, rejigging and remixing we have to say we are very pleased with the results and are confident that you will find them most aurally satisfactory also.

‘Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers’ hail from Oxford and London. In the Kneetremblers Sir Bald is joined by Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand and Gez Gerrard. The ever popular, near legendary Bash is a veteran of many, many, many a beat combo. On this record he plays the drum set and hits, shakes and scrapes various other inanimate objects. Hard living Gez aka Reg Rezzard weighs in on bass duties. The Kneetremblers have a ridiculously large stack of records available on Voodoo Rhythm, Beast, Dirty Water, Folc and many other fine independent record labels. The band members also perform as The Kneejerk Reactions, Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers and Crown-toppers – just to confuse the gig going, record buying public as much as humanly possible!

Mama Rosin’ consist of ‘Les Freres Suchet’ ( Lebanese-Armenian Cyril Yeterian on vocals and melodeon and the ludicrously big haired Robin Girod on guitar, banjo and vocals) plus chain smoking human stick insect Xavier Bray on percussion and occasional harmonica. Hailing from Geneva, Switzerland the ‘Mamas’ have toured and recorded extensively for several years. Their high energy live performances have been witnessed across the entire globe and they are now regular festival headliners. They also have a pile of records available including their recent album ‘Bye Bye Bayou’ which was recorded in New York City under the supervision of John Spencer (he of Blues Explosion).

‘Big Mama Blues’ is a kind of mambo-calypso meets zydeco hoe down and refers to a time on tour when the (getting a bit long in the tooth musical veterans) Kneetremblers were kept up to all hours in concert with their young Swiss chums, only to be told that they needed to be up at six am the next day so that melodeon player Cyril could get his flight to go on holiday. To add insult to injury Robin managed to get the guys to play in a wasteland cum field in the scorching midday sun the very next day (for free!) as Cyril made his way on vacation. ‘Big City Zydeco’ tells of the Mama’s joy of reaching civilisation in Her Majesty’s Great Capital of Londinium and discovering that people were actually willing to pay to hear Swiss people play Cajun music and even let them appear on television! Mama Rosin have recorded ‘Bon Temps Roulet’ several times previously. Still here’s another version and it’s arguably their best rendition so far. ‘Somebody Turned Out My Light’ is undoubtedly one of the finest cuts that the Mama-Hipbone partnership has produced. It failed to make the ‘Louisiana Sun’ release due a bodged vocal track . Now most pleasingly un-bodged here it is! The final Mama-Hipbone contribution on this compilation release is their take on one of the most popular and well known Cajun tunes of all time; ‘The Back Door’ is given a somewhat roughshod and irreverent treatment by the chaps!

After Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers first saw Mama Rosin play live, melodeon player Cyril introduced himself and apologised for playing a waltz in the set. Presumably he feared the Kneetremblers fearsome rock ‘n’ roll reputation? However, Sir Bald responded that he had previously played in a Cajun band and even played waltzes. And here we proudly present contributions by that very combo…

‘Achille and his Rooftop Playboys’ were named after Mr Achille Lorenz attempted to get the hapless Juke Boy Barkus and Baldie McGhee to tile his roof whilst on tour/holiday one summer. Achille was also was nicknamed ‘ Le Roi D’La Tuile’( King of the Tiles) as a result of this incident. Despite Achille’s attempts at cut price roof repair, Juke Boy and Baldie remained, toured and recorded with him for several years thereafter, until a scuffle over a dry wall and sponge cake brought their musical collaboration to an abrupt end. Here we include two straight ahead raw and rickety cuts featuring Achille’s interpretations of three traditional Cajun tunes. Both of these two step (or specials) were recorded in Achille’s (by this time re-roofed) barn located in Repaix, Lorraine in North Eastern France. Achille is a re-known performer in France and the Benelux regions, playing numerous instruments in various musical styles that include jazz, folk and work songs, as well as the rootsy raucous Cajun stomp that you can hear here! Achille sings these tunes in old French with great feel, gusto and conviction.

Juke Boy Barkus and Baldie McGhee (aka Broonie McGail) hail from Benson, South Oxfordshire. Juke Boy is an extremely busy writer and musician. He is multi-instrumentalist who performs across an array of musical genres such as folk, blues and country. We feature two recently recorded Cajun/zydeco tinged rhythm and blues numbers that have long featured in Juke Boy and Baldie’s live set. Old friends Juke Boy and Baldie have been musical partners for around 20 years now and they still occasionally gig together if plied with enough beer. You can hear further cuts by Achille, Juke Boy and Baldie on ‘Scorchin’ The Blues’ and ‘Shake It In The Dark’ (Alopecia) and ‘Two Man Blues Stomp’ (Snake Snake).

After the enormous international success of the aforementioned ‘Louisiana Sun’ album, Sir Bald inevitably felt the need to write and record more material in this musical vein. However, he was unable to arrange further joint sessions with Mama Rosin due to their hectic touring schedule. So instead Bald recruited the larger than life Slim Cyder (of Boothill Foot-tapping Blubbery Hellbelly Voodoo Cyder drinking fame) to play piano accordion on some tunes. Slim is a man of much character and humour, once telling Sir Bald that he had started at the top (making his debut with Ian Dury) and worked his way all the way down to the very bottom (Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers sessions). Sir Bald nevertheless gained his revenge for this by getting Slim to perform on nineteen songs in a seven hour recording session! You can hear several of Slim’s other contributions (on piano and organ) to that somewhat hectic day in Gizzard Studio on the forthcoming ‘The Hair-Raising Sounds Of Hipbone Slim and the Crown-Toppers’ album. Here we present three cuts of (not really) Slim with (really, really totally not) Slim! ‘Hot Boudin’ is a rockabilly edged homage to spicy blood sausage. ‘Bo Gumbo’ is a tribute the aforementioned Louisiana cook. ‘Jibber Jabber’ is a sure fire dance floor filling zydeco meets blues bopper!

We at Folc Records are proud to present this finest quality limited edition compilation of stompin’ Cajun, Zydeco and so forth, featuring Sir Bald aka Hipbone Slim and various musical friends. Needless to say we sincerely hope you enjoy this very special gumbo! If you like it hot and spicy, then we are very sure you will!

‘Hey Bo Gumbo! Jambalaya!
We’re gonna dance down on the bayou.
Hey Bo Gumbo! Jamabaly!
We’re gonna have a big fish fry
Jambalo! Jambaly!’

credits

released November 9, 2016

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