Thursday, February 14, 2008

Outlaw Country, Swamp Rock, Zydeco: Some Great Music From The Deep South

Well it's along way from Sydney's beaches to the Bayou and the Mississippi River but there is some fantastic music coming from the Deep South (ie: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina) that really can't be defined as Southern Rock, Country or Country Rock. It seems to slip between all the categories that we are used to but makes for some pretty incredible listening.

The Deep South has aways been the heart of American music, of course, from the origins of the blues, to Elvis and the Allman Brothers, but it has continued to produce so many incredible musicians that are little known outside of the USA.

Here are some incredible examples.

1. Tony Joe White (aka The Swamp Fox)

This singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his 1969 hit 'Polk Salad Annie'came to overseas attention, briefly, from his appearance at the legendary Isle of White Festival in 1970. He's toured with the likes of Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker and his songs have been sung by Elvis and ray Charles. He can sound like Johnny Winter singing Motown or like Wilson Picket singing Country.

2. Shooter Jennings

Son of Waylon Jennings, he turned away from pure country in favour of a rougher outlaw rock and roll. He portrayed hs father in Walk The Line (Johnny Cash Story), has three albums to his name and performs a great Southern version of Dire Straights
Walk of Life.

3. Wayne Toups

He's been around for nearly 40 years, blending cajun, rock and roll, rhythmn and blues and Zydeco both in English and louisiana French. Personally I love his version of Tupelo Honey by Van Morrisson. Lots of pure Southern party music.

4. The Neville Brothers

A gumbo of funk, blues and soul, the Neville Brothers are an institution from New Orleans. Aaron Neville is perhaps the best known member, for his beautiful voice and his 1989 hit with Linda Ronstadt "Don't Know Much'.
5. North Mississipi Allstars
A blues-rock type jam band from Mississippi, a bit less hard rock than Lynyrd Skynyrd. One member, Duwayne Burnside, is son of country blues legend RL Burnside. Great sounding 'cigar-box guitar', they tour with John Hiatt.
Image: Courtesy Sanctuary

No comments: