The storied back country of southern Louisiana is a place of rich history and fascinating cultural lineage. Its inhabitants – the Cajuns and their “Swamp People” brethren – are part of a unique tradition that dates back some three centuries to the immigration of Acadian refugees. In the 21st century, the region boasts not only a flavorful cuisine, distinctive music and a vastly vibrant culture, but also a deep and reverent appreciation for the land that continues to provide these people with refuge and a way of life.
Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, has partnered with HISTORY® to celebrate that legacy with Swamp People®, a 13-song compilation that showcases the music of current and past masters whose styles and sensibilities are rooted in this region. Set for release on May 21, Swamp People®, which serves as an ideal companion piece to the Cajun-flavored series, features the music of the Neville Brothers, Tony Joe White, Buckwheat Zydeco, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Hank Williams, Beausoleil with Michael Doucet and several others. Many of the tracks have been culled from Rounder’s vast catalog of southern Louisiana music and the title track, which leads off the set, is a new song written specifically for Swamp People® by vocalist Steel Bill, aka Billy Joe Tharpe, a native of Livingston Parish, Louisiana, who could best be described as a country rapper. The track is a favorite of Troy Landry, the inimitable, gator-hunting lead from the Swamp People® TV series.
“There are so many great songs about alligator hunting and swamp life, hit records that reach back 50 years and more recent material from the Rounder catalog,” says Scott Billington, Grammy®-winning producer, Vice President of A&R at Rounder and producer of Swamp People® (who also plays harmonica on Steel Bill’s title track). “I love this music and this culture, and I’ve spent a great part of my life in the region. These joyful, wonderful songs are the perfect complement to the show, and, I think Swamp People® fans will be delighted.”
Executive Producer, Pete Elkins, agrees: "The joie de vivre of the Swamp People® is present in their lifestyle, food and music. Rounder Records and the entire Concord Music team, have captured the spirit and joy of swampers everywhere in this amazing collection of music.”
Now in its fourth season, Swamp People follows the current generation of the Landry family and their contemporaries, who have been part of the region for generations and have made their living by carrying on their ancestors’ trades and traditions of hunting alligators and living off the swamp’s bountiful resources, while at the same time giving back to the swampland they call home.