Just as when the bayous are flowing it guarantees that the crawfish keep a-growing, here comes another release in Ace’s popular By The Bayou series. As in the previous dozen or so reissues, the Livin’, Lovin’ & Lyin’ track list reads pretty much like an August 1959, KLOU (Lake Charles) playlist. This time, however, there’s a definite New Orleans influence throughout. Our own Mr. Google Eyes’ puzzling “Boogie With Calypso” is here, as is Eddie Lang’s—okay he was from Slidell—bold “Troubles Troubles.” A disciple of Guitar Slim, amazingly Mac Rebennack’s high school band the Skyliners backs Lang here. Speaking of Slim, one of the featured artists we’ll mention later adapts his nom-de-disc, and Little Bob’s “Wanna Be Your Man” is a dead ringer for Slim’s “Well, I Done Got Over It.” Likewise, Tabby Thomas’ “Roll On Ole Mule” borrows heavily from Smiley Lewis’ opus “Go On Fool.”
Granted there are some lugubrious inclusions on the roster, but we’ll dwell on the highlights here. Tal Miller’s “Scorched” is a raw but right rocker of the highest order. King Karl’s “Baby, Baby Come To Papa” also stands out. Of the three Guitar Jr. tracks the swamp pop weeper “Family Rules” is most familiar, containing the perfect guitar solo. His “Got It Made (When I Marry Shirley Mae)” is pretty hip too. There’s a couple of great obscure tracks by Cookie & the Cupcakes, including the catchy table setter, “I Keep Crying.” Tracks from the likes of Little Nolton (is that Elton Anderson?), Sticks Herman and Left Hand Charlie (he graces the cover) will garner frequent plays here to boot. As per Ace’s norm, superior packaging with rare photos and label scans. Further evidence of the wealth of great music inspired by the Bayou State.