Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues

Shane K. Bernard, Author University Press of Mississippi $22 (284p) ISBN 978-0-87805-876-1
Don't fret if you never notice the latest swamp pop hit blaring out of the music store at the mall. The sad truth is, you probably won't find many of the artists mentioned in this thoroughly researched and well-documented book alongside the Jerry Lee Lewis or Neville Brothers discs. Unless, that is, you live deep in the heart of Louisiana bayou country, where this frisky subgenre of rock and roll really has its hold. If swamp pop never garnered broad national attention, this anonymity may have been a blessing, allowing the various influences--mostly acoustic Creole and Cajun folk music and Detroit- and Chicago-style electric rhythm and blues--to evolve uninterrupted into an even more flavorful musical gumbo. Written for the serious musicologist more than for the casual radio listener, Swamp Pop simultaneously chronicles the achievements of the subgroup's earliest movers and shakers (Johnny Preston, Cookie and the Cupcakes) as well as the efforts of its few contemporary practitioners (C.C. Adcock). Bernard forgoes drawing many parallels to better-known bands or subgenres, but Creedence Clearwater Revival and their San Francisco peers in the '60s and this country's current underground garage-band scene immediately pop to mind. That said, Bernard's annotated discography and endnotes should lead the most curious reader in the right direction. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Compact Disc - 978-0-87805-896-9
Hardcover - 264 pages - 978-0-87805-875-4
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 284 pages - 978-1-60473-725-7
Open Ebook - 274 pages - 978-0-585-22714-6
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