Swampwater first came together as a backing group for Linda Ronstant when she first went solo in the late 60s, performing with her on her first national tour. Their first lineup consisted of Cajun fiddler Gib Guilbeau, guitarist John Beland, bassist Eric White and drummer Stan Pratt. Guilbeau had recorded in the 60s as a duo with Gene Parsons, and also played in Nashville West with Parsons, Wayne Moore and guitarist Clarence White. Eric White was Clarence's brother, and they had played bluegrass together years before. Stan Pratt was Guilbeau's brother-in-law.
During their time with Ronstant they recorded their own album for Starday-King Records, which was originally intended to be a Gib Builbeau solo album but soon transformed into a group effort. White dropped out just prior to recording and was replaced by Thad Maxwell on bass (though White did stay on as the band's road manager). Swampwater consisted of some great country-rock notable for spectacular vocal harmonies and a strong Cajun vibe, both through Guilbeau's fiddle and the lyrical imagery - all odes to riverboats, bayou country and Lousiana women. Guilbeau's songwriting was to the fore, and many of his songs (notably "Take A City Bride" and "Big Bayou") would be covered by all sorts of other artists.
|> Swampwater 2 (1971)
More from Swampwater