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Swamp blues: Wikis


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Swamp blues
Stylistic origins Blues, Cajun music, Country blues, Louisiana blues, Zydeco
Cultural origins 1950s Louisiana, US
Typical instruments Electric guitar - Bass guitar - drums - Keyboards
Mainstream popularity 1950s

Swamp blues is a form of blues music that is highly evolved and specialized. It arose from the Louisiana blues and is known for its laidback rhythms which dominate a music that is simultaneously funky and often lighthearted — for a blues sub-genre. Influences from Cajun music oasdfr black Creole zydeco music can also be heard in the sound, which has long been based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Despite the Baton Rouge origins of many of its performers, swamp blues is often associated with recordman/producer J. D. "Jay" Miller's Crowley, Louisiana, recording studio. Miller released many swamp blues recordings on his own various labels, as well as on larger, national labels, such as Ernie Young's Excello Records label of Nashville. Attesting to the impact of swamp blues on popular music, the Rolling Stones covered swamp bluesman Slim Harpo's "I'm a King Bee," while Neil Young, among others, recorded Harpo's "Rainin' In My Heart." Furthermore, swamp blues is often cited as a major influence on Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Swamp blues is sometimes confused with swamp pop music, which is actually a distinct south Louisiana musical genre — although swamp blues and swamp pop performers often accompanied each other in the studio and on stage. It also should not be confused with delta blues, a far more well-known subgenre of the blues that comes from northern Mississippi.



  • John Broven, South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous (Gretna, La.: Pelican, 1983).

Simple English

Swamp blues is a type of blues music. It is based on the Louisiana blues.

Swamp blues is often linked to J. D. "Jay" Miller's, recording studio in Crowley, Louisiana. Miller released lots of swamp blues recordings on his own labels, as well as on more well known labels. Showing the impact of Swamp Blues on other music, the Rolling Stones played a version of Slim Harpo's "I'm a King Bee," and Neil Young recorded Slim Harpo's "Rainin' In My Heart."

Swamp Blues Artists

  • Warren Storm
  • Guitar Junior
  • Slim Harpo
  • Silas Hogan
  • Joe Hudson
  • Arthur "Guitar" Kelly
  • Henry Gray
  • Lazy Lester
  • Clarence Edwards
  • Lightnin' Slim
  • Lonesome Sundown
  • Lil' Buck Sinegal
  • Kenny Neal
  • Tabby Thomas
  • Diablo Dimes
  • Katie Webster
  • Whispering Smith
  • Big Daddy Harry Hypolite
  • Selwyn Cooper
  • Carol Fran
  • Michael Juan Nunez
  • Roscoe Chenier
  • John Fogerty


  • John Broven, South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous (Gretna, La.: Pelican, 1983).


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