LATER ALLIGATOR - LOUISIANA ROCK 'N ROLL (2CD)
Fantastic Voyage (FVDD105)
Paul Gayten, Jack Dupree, Al Terry, Fats Domino, Roy Brown, Frankie Ford, Chris Kenner and more.
What do they say? Great Louisiana rock and roll compilation are like buses - you wait ages for one to come along and then they all come together.
Well, point proven, as along with the Ace CD, Fantastic Voyage also visit Louisiana for the latest of their popular regional rock and roll overviews. Thankfully, among the 51 tracks here, there is barely any duplication with the Ace set and furthermore, the scope of this set is much broader and looser, incorporating a balanced set mixing famous names and big hits alongside fascinating rarities and unknowns.
Among the ‘famous', the monumental Jerry Lee Lewis bookends proceedings with two tracks, Dale Hawkins' classic Suzie Q is in, as are Huey Piano Smith's High Blood Pressure and Later Alligator by Bobby Charles. Other star names are present and correct but are pleasingly represented by rarely anthologised sides. Of the ‘unknowns', Cheater's Can't Win by Margaret Lewis is a rough-hewn country soul belter, Louisiana Boogie by Harry Choates takes us rocking Arcadian Cajun-style, and Al Terry's Watch Dog offers a hopping tongue-twisting delight.
All in all, apart from Puppy Love by a 13 year old Dolly Parton, there is not a dud on show and this is a highly recommended purchase guaranteed to combine hours of genuine entertainment while also further developing an appreciation of the uniqueness and variety of popular music as it came up through Louisiana.
Review Date: August 2012