at www.RARWRITER.com      

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Volume 1-2016






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ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.


(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.







Swamp Pop

Greasy Sounds from the Bayou Region

Swamp Pop is a musical genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenaged Cajuns and black Creoles, it combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences. Although a fairly obscure genre, Swamp Pop maintains a large audience in its south Louisiana and southeast Texas homeland, and it has acquired a small but passionate cult following in the United Kingdom, northern Europe, and Japan. - Wikipedia


If the musical genre known as "Swamp Pop" is new to you, take a moment to listen to the seminal, genre-defining record of Cookie and the Cupcakes' 1958 recording of "Mathilda" (right column). You will recognize it as the sound of a certain era in radio history that came and went as a style but burrowed deeply into the fabric of our shared musical culture.

The flag bearers of this kind of music were right over the top with raw sincerity and naked emotions. Their sound feels real, like a working class expression, in which survival is very closely married to matters of the heart. In that, it was a product of its time, a folk music sandwiched between the Korean War and Viet Nam, during which class divisions were showing, and racial divisions were evolving in convergent ways.

It was not just a Black thing, but also a Hispanic and what might affectionately be called a White Trash thing. Listen to Jonnie Allan's "Promised Land" (right column) and you can feel a level of desperation that obliterates racial distinctions and delivers a focused sense of humanity that is exhilarating, and exhilaratingly familiar. We all grew up with this song and this sound. It was a sound built for Elvis, the paragon of working class pop music sensibilities, though Elvis was not a Swamp Pop phenomenon, but more an effective harvester of the cutting edge sounds of his time. Swamp Pop completely suited Elvis' melodramatic inclinations.

Swamp Pop was a regional antecedent to a broader musical force that was sweeping through the western world at the time, which was Rock'n Roll. Nationwide, Rock music dominated the airwaves and killed the careers of the Sinatra-era performers. Likewise, Swamp Pop diverted the attentions of Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas kids away from the music indigenous to their region, which was French Acadian in its origin. Unlike anyplace else in the United States, Southern Louisiana has a culture that is uniquely its own, created by French-Canadian exiles, Mediterranean and Southern Blacks, and natives indigenous to Louisiana. It has instilled the area with a proud tradition, which maintains a fealty to its traditional music forms, including songs written in French to be performed in French. A whole generation of Swamp Pop kids challenged that traditional model, introducing electric instruments, keyboards and drum sets into what previously had been a folk arrangement. This would be echoed around the Southern U.S., influencing other pop permutations, like "Newgrass" music, which expanded on "Bluegrass" traditions.

Today, Swamp Pop has been incorporated into the playlists of a whole stable of Southern Louisiana bands that mix Cajun, zydeco, and Americana with Swamp Pop staples. Many sing traditional French language lyrics. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys have been around for years doing this. Others have included the Red Stick Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys, who built significant followings before the two bands disbanded, with several of their members coming together to form The Revelers.


Ghost of Dewey Balfa

The Revelers

The Revelers are what became of the Red Stick Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys (see below). They are more or less the brainchild of wunderkind Blake Miller, who has surfaced as a significant songwriter of original music in the French Cajun style. The band plays modern styles of Cajun, zydeco, Swamp Pop, and Americana equally well. The band includes drummer Glenn Fields, saxophonist Chris Miller, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Coolik, guitarist Chas Justus, and bassist Eric Frey.

The Revelers have toured the United States extensively, the UK, Ireland, and Denmark. They are a festival mainstay having played at the Blackpot Festival, Tønder, Shakori Hills, both Rhythm and Roots, Wheatland, Sugar Maple Fest, Festival International de Louisiane, Grey Fox, Clearwater’s Hudson River Revival, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival and countless others. They are also in-demand in the music education scene, having been on staff at Ashokan Fiddle & Dance, Balfa Week, Miles of Music Camp, FiddleTunes, and Blackpot Camp.


Feufollet consists of musicians Phillippe Billeaudeaux, Chris Segura, Mike Stafford, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Chris Stafford, and Andrew Toups. The band has a youthful profile that has probably benefited them with advantages beyond what their Cajun competition can mount. Feufollet ("crazy fire") has received a Grammy nomination for their 2010 En Couleurs album, and has been recipient of the Big Easy Award for "Best Cajun Band". If they are not really "the best", they may well be the "most marketable".

Pine Leaf Boys

The Pine Leaf Boys have received four Grammy nominations for their brand of Cajun music. Hailing from the southwest Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys have been described in the New York Times as, "... the link that connects the young and the old generations," and, "the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time," the Pine Leaf Boys play the old fashion dance hall standards while making a priority to bring many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and play them with gusto." The band has performed on three U.S. State Department tours, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Jerusalem in 2009, and again to Latvia, Denmark, and Slovenia in 2010, and a third time to the "Stan" countries in 2012 (Uzbek, Tajik, and Kyrgz).

Lost Bayou Ramblers

The Lost Bayou Ramblers was formed in 1999 by Louis Michot (fiddle and vocals) and his brother Andre Michot (Cajun accordion and lap steel guitar) and grew to include producer Korey Richey (electric bass), Johnny Campos (electric guitar) and Eric Heigle (drums). With years of touring, recording, and collaborating under their belt, the band has continually integrated new sonic elements to its live performances, always experimenting and growing the show to what it's become today, an eclectic mix of modern sounds and rhythms with ancient Cajun melodies and lyrics.

The Los Bayou Ramblers have done interesting collaborations with Violent Femmes vocalist and fiddle player Gordon Gano, and with actress and wannabe singer Scarlett Johansson and with Dr. John. They all appeared on the band's breakthrough Mammoth Waltz album. The band contributed to the soundtrack for the Oscar nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild. They have also provided an opening act for Arcade Fire. 

Red Stick Ramblers

Of all of the Cajun and Zydeco acts to come out of Louisiana over the past ten years, the Red Stick Ramblers may have been the most traditional of the lot. They mixed original French language interpretations of classics from that canon among with only slightly more contemporary country songs, but do it all on wooden instruments, so it sounds authentic in a pre-Fender kind of a way.

Little Freddie King














Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1940, Fread E. Martin grew up playing alongside his blues guitar-picking father (Jessie James Martin), then rode the rails to New Orleans during the early fifties where he crossed paths with itinerant South Louisiana blues men such as "Poka- Dot" Slim and "Boogie" Bill Webb whose unique country-cum-urban styles would influence his own. Honing his guitar chops at notorious joints like the Bucket of Blood (which he later immoralized in song), he jammed and gigged with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker, and also played bass for Freddy King during one of the guitarist's stints in New Orleans. People began comparing the two musicians' styles, hence Martin's nome-de-plume. While well-vested in a variety of styles, nowadays Little Freddie sounds a lot more like his cousin Lightin' Hopkins - albeit after a three day corn liquor bender! Nevertheless, the King sobriquet is fitting, as Freddie is undeniably the monarch of the Crescent City blues scene. - ( from his Website, pretty much sic)


Forgotten Not Gone

Henry Butler

Henry Butler has long been one of New Orleans piano-playing native sons, in a league with the legends, Professor Longhair and Dr. John. Life is all about the breaks you get and the degree to which one is fortunate enough to make beneficial connections, and somehow Butler just never got the breaks. There is a concerted effort these days to promote him and his legacy, and to get him the attention he deserves. Last year, Butler released a new album - Viper’s Drag - with Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9 band and featuring Herlin Riley, who some like Snug Harbor MC Fred Kasten, consider "the greatest drummer in New Orleans".  Kasten has said of Butler's most recent recording, “Bernstein is a great arranger and knows how to pick songs that work well with what Henry does. This could be the band of colleagues that finally brings Henry the mass audience he deserves.”


Use this link to get to the New Orleans archives page.


Dewey Balfa

(March 1927-June 1992)

Born near Mamou, Louisiana, Dewey Balfa was a Cajun fiddle player and singer who helped to popularize Cajun music. His father had been a fiddle player, and he taught Dewey the traditional repertoire. He and his brothers formed a couple bands after returning from WWII, one of which got a lot of attention at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival.

Balfa was a music educator, in a documentary film titled "Les Blues de Balfa" he provides the following explanation of the Cajun culture:

"We are here to tell you a little bit about what a Cajun is. A Cajun is a person who his homeland was France. Went into Nova Scotia, at the time Acadia, and settled there and was there for about a hundred years, and afterwards the British took over the territory and then the French-speaking people, the French descendants, known as the Acadians, came down to the South-Western part of Louisiana, and that was back in 1755. So over all of these years, your language, and your music has been preserved from daddy to son or daddy to daughter or momma to daughter."

Swamp Pop Honor Roll

The list below, found on Wikipedia, provides what somebody considered to be the essential Swamp Pop recordings to have come out of Louisiana. There is some pretty arcane references here, and fun to look through. You can search for the recordings.

Johnnie Allan, Promised Land, Ace 380, 1992 [UK].
Johnnie Allan, Swamp Pop Legend: Johnnie Allan – The Essential Collection, Jin 9044, 1995.
Rod Bernard, Swamp Pop Legend: Rod Bernard – The Essential Collection, Jin 9056, 1998.
Rod Bernard, Swamp Rock 'n' Roller, Ace 488, 1994 [UK].
The Boogie Kings, Swamp Boogie Blues, Jin 9045, 1995.
Van Broussard, The Early Years, CSP 1007, 1993.
Bobby Charles, Bobby Charles, 1971
Cookie & The Cupcakes, By Request, Jin 9037, 1993.
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, But I Do(EP) 1961.
Dale Hawkins, Susie Q(EP), Checker 1957
Toussaint McCall, I'll Do It for You(EP), 1967
Charles Mann, Swamp Pop Legend: Charles Mann – The Essential Collection, Jin 9060, 1998.
Randy & The Rockets, A Blast From the Past – The Essential Collection, Jin 9059, 1998.
Phil Phillips, Sea of Love,(EP) Mercury, 1959.
Phil Phillips, Sea of Love,album , Bear Family, 2008.
Warren Storm, Night After Night, Jin 9039, 1995.
Tommy McLain, Swamp Pop Legend: Tommy McLain – The Essential Collection, Jin 9054, 1997.
Slim Harpo, Raining in My Heart, Excello, 1961.
Bettye Swann, Make Me Yours,(EP) 1967.
Clint West, Swamp Pop Legend: Clint West – The Essential Collection, Jin 9055, 1997.
Tony Joe White, Tony Joe White, Warner 1971.
The Uniques (Louisiana Band), Don't Miss Your Water
Various Artists, Eddie’s House of Hits: The Story of Goldband Records, Ace 424, 1992 [UK].
Various Artists, Swamp Gold, Vol. 1 - Vol.8, Jin(1991-2006).

Popular artists listed as having represented the Swamp Pop sound include:

Leon Russell

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Delayney and Bonnie

Duane Allman
Gregg Allman
Derek and the Dominos
Joe Cocker
The Rolling Stones

What Happened to the Grammys?

Cajun music and the Grammy Awards have not necessarily been partners in crime.

For years there were Cajun supporters who lobbied the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science to create a special category of awards for this unique brand of American music. And from 2008 to 2011 the academy did pass out awards for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. After that, the genre was relegated to the status of "regional music" and bands interested in winning Grammy's have competed under that umbrella title ever since.

Louisiana acts that have benefitted from lobbying on their behalf have included the following award recipients: Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band.

The group Pine Leaf Boys holds the record for the most nominations, with four. Though nominated each year the honor was presented, the group failed to receive an award. Doucet and Cedric Watson each received three nominations. 2009 marked the only year in which a musician received more than one nomination as well as the only time two artists were nominated for works appearing on the same album—Doucet was nominated as a member of BeauSoleil for Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as well as for his solo album From Now On, and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys were also nominated for their contribution to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival compilation album. Many nominated artists were from Louisiana, specifically Lafayette.






Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)