Rhythm 'N' Bayous: A Road Map To Louisiana Music

As filmmaker Robert Mugge (HELLHOUNDS ON MY TRAIL) tells it, he went down to Louisiana to film a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bus tour. Distracted by Louisiana's thriving musical culture, he went off on his own, and the Hall of Fame's loss is music lovers' gain. Mugge wound up making a light, entertaining musical travelogue down the highways and byways of...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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As filmmaker Robert Mugge (HELLHOUNDS ON MY TRAIL) tells it, he went down to Louisiana to film a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bus tour. Distracted by Louisiana's thriving musical culture, he went off on his own, and the Hall of Fame's loss is music lovers' gain. Mugge wound up making a light, entertaining musical travelogue down the highways and byways of the Pelican State: taping performances, interviewing a few legends and dropping in on various musicologists for a little historical perspective. The journey begins in Shreveport with a tribute to the Louisiana Hayride, the hallowed country music revue that helped deliver rock and roll into the world. There's a stop in Monroe for a dose of delta blues, then the film winds its way downstate to the all-night jazz venues of New Orleans and Baton Rogue, eventually winding up in the southernmost reaches of Louisiana for a fascinating discussion of Creole and Cajun music. It runs a little long (an extended segment about the pop-cajun hybrid known as "swamp pop" is just wheel-spinning) and not every act is as fresh as it once was. But most sizzle: Frankie Ford's stomping rendition of "Roberta" and Dale Hawkins's howling "Suzie Q" positively smoke, and the newcomers are none too shabby. Check out Buddy Flett's growlin "No More Cane on the Brazos," as well as the sultry Rosie Ledet, who, along with her husband Morris, seems to hold the future of zydeco in both hands. The sheer breadth of Louisiana's musical heritage — rock, pop, blues, rockabilly, gospel, jazz, country, and zydeco are all represented, alone and in every combination imaginable — ensures that there's something for just about everyone to enjoy. So if the boy bands and pop princesses who dominate the mainstream airwaves leave you cold, take heart and dig right in.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: As filmmaker Robert Mugge (HELLHOUNDS ON MY TRAIL) tells it, he went down to Louisiana to film a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bus tour. Distracted by Louisiana's thriving musical culture, he went off on his own, and the Hall of Fame's loss is music lovers' g… (more)

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