On Louisiana Roadhouse, Trent Bourgeois was trying to create the feel of a typical Saturday night in any number of roadhouses that you can find throughout Louisiana, and for the most part, the album does just that. The songs typically range from country to swamp pop, and lyrically cover the terrain one would expect in those styles. Joining Bourgeois is an impressive list of guests including Nashville session players Brent Mason (guitar) and Larry Franklin (fiddle). Swamp pop legends Don Rich (accordion) and Van Broussard (vocals) are joined by Chubby Carrier (accordion), Mike Broussard and Bob Henderson (saxophone), Lacy Blackledge (trumpet), Beau Thomas (fiddle), Taylor Nauta (guitar), J.D. White (guitar, mandolin), David Hyde (bass), and Nelson Blanchard (guitar, drums, keyboards, mandolin).
You can definitely hear a Nashville influence throughout the recording, but it is when Trent leaves Nashville and focuses on his Louisiana roots, both lyrically and stylistically, that the album is most successful. Bourgeois makes this point clear on “Back To Luzianne” and “Louisiana,” the latter of which paints a beautiful picture of what it is like to live in this great state.
“Gonzales Ain’t Dallas,” which is revisited with special guest Grayland Templet as a bonus recording, is pure swamp pop and it gives Mike Broussard and Bob Henderson a chance to shine on sax. Speaking of swamp pop, one of the highlights of the record is “Van the Man,” a song Bourgeois wrote about Van Broussard; and lucky for us, Broussard makes a guest appearance on vocals. “Gator Swamp” is really more of an interlude that features live swamp sounds recorded outside of Trent’s house, but the song is driven by a great accordion groove that really deserves to be fully developed. Finally, if you enjoy the classic sound of a Fender Telecaster then you will want to jump right to “Gator Pick’n’” which features impressive playing from Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert, and Gerry McGee, each taking turns showing why they are considered some of the best in the business.