At some point when Yvette Landry was writing her book Taking the World, by Storm—A Conversation with Warren Storm Schexnider, The Godfather of Swamp Pop, someone suggested a companion disc of Storm’s previously released material. That is, until Landry realized: Why not a fresh recording? The octogenarian’s pipes are still in great shape and Landry’s versatile band The Jukes was perfect for the occasion. Add special guests like Marc Broussard and Sonny Landreth, and Dockside Studios couldn’t be booked fast enough.
Several songs are reprised from Storm’s early career, starting with his first single in 1958, the shuffling “Prisoner’s Song” that unexpectedly hit number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its flipside, “Mama, Mama, Mama” is practically a malt shop musical as duet partners Storm and Landry playfully relate the amorous storyline from each of their perspectives. “Troubles Troubles” is the sunniest tune you’ll ever hear having “troubles” in the title. “In My Moments of Sorrow” has all the trappings of classic swamp pop while “My House of Memories” is totally weepy country with Eric Adcock’s Floyd Cramer-recalling piano playing.
It’s not all a Storm surge. It’s also a South Louisiana musical odyssey. There’s the ever-popular “Matilda” with co-vocalist Broussard and Earl King’s “Lonely Nights” featuring Adcock’s elegant New Orleans-style piano. On Bobby Charles’ “Tennessee Blues,” the unhurried Storm stretches it out to let the song’s inner beauty slowly unfold.
Thanks to saxophonist Derek Huston’s dogged persistence, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long as I Can See the Light” was a late addition. Eventually, John Fogerty was enlisted as a co-vocalist and matched up well with Storm’s soulful style.
Just as Storm recorded via two-track in ’58, the same was done here, meaning a wrong note required a retake. It also met the rigid criteria of audiophile imprint APO who requires two-track recording for its high-quality vinyl remastering.
Surely, this won’t be the last time these songs will ever be recorded but if they are, these renditions would endure for eternity.