Recommendations for swampy fringe folk/americana music?
December 23, 2014 11:07 PM   Subscribe

Looking for music recommendations (particularly instrumental recordings) that capture the mythically haunted swampy vibe of the American gulf coast. Older/obscure/authentic tracks are welcome, but I'm also interested in contemporary americana tunes that capture the spirit of the Louisiana swamps.

Musicfilter: I'm looking for any and all recommendations for contemporary as well as old/obscure tunes that are from or capture the vibe of the Gulf Coast, Mississippi Delta, Louisiana swampland, for background for a performance piece set in that region.

Recommendations in the ballpark of The Handsome Family (whose 2003 "Far From Any Road" served as the title theme to HBO's "True Detective" series - which has the visual aesthetic I'm looking for a musical counterpart to) are welcome. For that matter, Jeff Beal's excellent score to the also-HBO series "Carnivàle" feels in the ballpark of what I'm looking for, without really having any explicit connection to the gulf coast region. I keep falling into a hole where I listen to nothing but this and Tom Waits for several hours and forget that any other artists exist - throw me a rope?
posted by myrrh to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
 
Helpful search term: Zyedeco.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 12:15 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Look at Dr. John, starting in the late 60s.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:05 AM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was going to say Dr John too. His first album really nails this spooky, cartoony bayou vibe - and "walk on gilded splinters" is just an incredible song
posted by Ted Maul at 1:31 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


You are looking for Tony Joe White.
And Daniel Lanois.
posted by Chitownfats at 3:01 AM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


For new stuff in this vein, this CDBaby search helps.
posted by yclipse at 4:30 AM on December 24, 2014


Don't forget the Ragin' Cajun, Doug Kershaw
posted by Right On Red at 4:56 AM on December 24, 2014


No explicit bayou connection, but Michael Hurley's first album First Songs (possibly re-released as Blueberry Wine) has this vibe for me.
posted by scruss at 4:56 AM on December 24, 2014


How about Kevin Gordon?

Or this gem from Session Americana?
posted by SobaFett at 5:01 AM on December 24, 2014


16 Horsepower's really good and might fit the bill.

I Seen What I Saw
posted by hadlexishere at 5:21 AM on December 24, 2014


I was about to recommend 16 HP as well.

Spooky as *shit*.
posted by notsnot at 5:36 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Check out Ramsay Midwood. He plays some great dirty Delta blues.
posted by essexjan at 5:54 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Zozo Sisters has Linda Ronstadt singing some really amazing Cajun-ish stuff.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:03 AM on December 24, 2014


contemporary americana tunes that capture the spirit of the Louisiana swamps.

Steve Earle, "Meet Me In The Alleyway"
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:06 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ry Cooder's soundtrack to the film Southern Comfort.
posted by CincyBlues at 7:11 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Southern Gothic is a good search term for this. 8tracks is a decent place to start.
posted by yasaman at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2014


I like Trailer Bride and Delta Rae.

This older thread on haunting Southern rock and gospel might be helpful, too.
posted by jaguar at 7:55 AM on December 24, 2014


American Routes episodes sometimes focus on locations or artists that may be right down your alley.
posted by mr. digits at 9:14 AM on December 24, 2014


Great doc on James Booker, Bayou Maharajah.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:25 AM on December 24, 2014


Lucinda Williams has a great version of this vibe...check out the album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
posted by griseus at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bobbie Gentry.
posted by Scram at 10:31 AM on December 24, 2014


Songza has great blues playlists. Try Swamp Blues or African American Songsters from Smithsonian Folkways.
posted by wrabbit at 11:22 AM on December 24, 2014




Swamp Witch, by Jim Stafford.
posted by Bourbonesque at 2:00 PM on December 24, 2014


If you're open to a slightly artsier approach from some Canadians, there's Timber Timbre.

Lay Down in the Tall Grass
Grand Canyon
Trouble Comes Knocking
Bad Ritual
Demon Host
posted by maudlin at 4:02 PM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lost Bayou Ramblers
posted by ersatzkat at 8:33 PM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anything on Excello Records. Start with Slim HArpo.
posted by Che boludo! at 10:37 AM on December 27, 2014


Check out Country Funk (and the sequel, Country Funk II), it's got some of what you're describing.

Also I saw Heartworn Highways and it grabbed me from the opening scene (on that note, check out Larry Jon Wilson).

Oh and take a look at Aquarium Drunkard, fantastic blog (their year in review in particular is a great roundup) - not swampy fringe folk exclusive but certainly swampy fringe folk friendly.
posted by cybertaur1 at 7:35 PM on December 27, 2014


If you're willing to take a walk on the metal side, Black Tusk does this wonderfully.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:16 AM on December 28, 2014


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