Various Artists Bluesin' by the Bayou: Rough 'N' Tough CD. Liner Note Author: Ian Saddler.
The attitude of this volume of Ace's Bluesin' by the Bayou can be summed up in its subtitle: every one of these 28 tracks is "Rough 'N' Tough," a low-down, greasy blues shuffle that emanate from deep in the Louisiana swamps. Unlike other volumes of the By the Bayou series, which rely almost entirely on unknowns, there are a fair number of heavy-hitters here, including the king of Louisiana blues Slim Harpo and his Zydeco counterpart Clifton Chenier. Neither artist is represented by a previously released track, so Rough 'N' Tough maintains the archival bent that has made the By the Bayou series such an unexpected blast. A fair chunk of this collection of sides recorded in the late '50s and early '60s wasn't released at the time and much of it shows up here for the first time, but the entire compilation plays like a hopping, rocking record machine in a forgotten backwoods juke joint. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine