Performers include: Aaron Neville, Professor Longhair, Johnny Adams, Buckwheat Zydeco, Irma Thomas.
THE BEST OF LOUISIANA MUSIC contains 19 tracks.
Louisiana music has been one of Rounder's strong points in the 1980s and 1990s -- not only zydeco and Cajun music, but also soul, blues, jazz, and rock. In 1993, the Boston-area label opened its own vaults to assemble The Best of Louisiana Music, which isn't essential, but is enjoyable on the whole. Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas' "Your Mama Don't Know" and Buckwheat Zydeco's "Hot Tamale Baby" are fine examples of exuberant zydeco party music, while Aaron Neville's "Mojo Hannah," the Meters' "Look-Ka Py Py," and Irma Thomas' "I Never Fool Nobody But Me" remind listeners that Louisiana was never lacking when it came to talented soulsters. On the Dixieland tip, "If You're a Viper" finds the Rebirth Brass Band reviving a 1930s tune that paid tribute to marijuana smokers. ("Viper" was 1930s African-American slang for those who were subsequently called "potheads.") This CD is far from the last word on Louisiana music, but it does let listeners know how much exciting music they're likely to hear during Mardi Gras. ~ Alex Henderson