Warren Storm – Taking the World by Storm
CD: 11 Songs, 35 Minutes
Styles: “Swamp Pop,” New Orleans-Style Blues, Blues Covers
If the title of a work of art implicitly promises something, the aforementioned work should deliver. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon should take me there (it did). Robin Cook’s novel Shock ought to shock me (it did). When Louisiana’s Warren Schexnider, AKA Warren Storm, says he’s Taking the World by Storm, I’d better hear some thunder. The “Godfather of Swamp Pop,” whose musical career has spanned over seventy years, is back with a vengeance to reassert his title. Author and co-performer Yvette Landry has issued this album as a companion piece to her identically-titled book, available for purchase on her website and subtitled A Conversation with Warren ‘Storm’ Schexnider. She’s been a fan of his for years. Whether you’re also a longtime devotee or a newcomer to his music like me, when you’re done listening to this all-too-short offering, you’ll go, “Yowza-yowza-yowza!” as Warren does at the end of “Lonely Nights.”
The album itself is a compilation of eleven electric entries, including John Fogerty’s “Long As I Can See the Light,” Bobby Charles’ “Tennessee Blues,” Merle Haggard’s “My House of Memories” and two songs that became lifelong standards for Storm: “Prisoner’s Song” and JD Miller’s “Mama Mama Mama,” both of which broke into the Billboard Hot 100. All are graced by Storm’s vocals, as soothing as a springtime shower. His pipes may have aged, but they’re nowhere near rusty. He doesn’t mumble or stumble over any of the lyrics – in fact, on catchy numbers such as “Let the Four Winds Blow,” he imbues them with zesty Louisiana spice.
Alongside him are band members Eric Adcock on piano, Roddie Romero on electric guitar, Derek Huston on tenor and baritone saxophone, Chris French on upright bass, and Gary Usie on drums. Special guest musicians include Sonny Landreth on slide guitar for “Mathilda,” Richard Comeaux on pedal-steel guitar for “Tennessee Blues,” Beau Thomas on fiddle for that same track, and Willie “Tee” Trahan on tenor sax for “In My Moments of Sorrow” and “Troubles, Troubles.” Featured guest vocalists are John Fogerty for the opener, Marc Broussard for “Mathilda,” and Yvette Landry herself on “Mama, Mama, Mama.”
One thing’s for sure: Warren’s no tenderfoot in the Louisiana bayou, a rookie with everything to prove and everything to lose. He’s the gentlemanly Godfather of this subgenre. Taking the World by Storm is what he’s already done, time and time again, and will continue to do until time or the tides stop him. Until then, he’ll keep on rolling!