Waylon Thibodeaux – Here We Go Again
10 songs – 43 minutes
Waylon Thibodeaux is perhaps best known for decorating the divide between Country and Cajun music with his virtuoso fiddle playing. On HereWe Go Again, Thibodeaux investigates his blues-rock side, serving everything up with a healthy dollop of South Louisiana swagger and a lot of great fiddle playing.
Here We Go Again is Thibodeaux’s third album on the Rabadash label and features five self-penned tracks, plus covers of songs by writers as diverse as JJ Cale, Willie Nelson and Edgar Winter. Thibodeaux sings and plays fiddle and is backed by a variety of different first class musicians, including drummers Chris Lacinak, Randy Carpenter and Donnie Breland; bassists Troy Billiot, Wendell Person, David Hyde, Mark Dufrene and Benny Turner; guitarists Josh Garrett, Jody Mayeau, Mark Trentacosta, Dwight Breland and Keenan Knight; Rabadash owner John Autin on piano and organ; and Johnny Sansone on harmonica.
The fiddle is not the most common instrument in blues, although Clarence Gatemouth Brown was a noted master and younger players such as the UK’s magnificent Grace Bond from When Rivers Meet are also making the instrument a fundamental part of their sound. On the evidence of Here We Go Again, it is an obvious question to ask why the fiddle isn’t more commonly utilized in the blues. Thibodeaux lays down a series of wonderfully melodic solos and licks. He also isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what one expects from a fiddle. At the beginning of “Riverboat Song” he recreates the booming sound of the riverboat steam whistle. And on “Don’t You Make Me Put My Fiddle Down” he really goes to town in creating a wild range of sounds, from birdsong to weeping tears and happy laughter to discordant electronic flurries.
Thibodeaux writes smart songs, often with infuriatingly catchy choruses, such as the title track or “Stuck With The Blues Again” (which also has some irresistible bass lines from the great Benny Turner, Freddie King’s brother). He has also selected some well-crafted lesser-known covers, including the driving rock of Doc Heart’s “When Love Comes Back”. The well-known covers are all given a fresh lick of paint, with even “Funny How Time Slips Away” sounding fresh and invigorated. JJ Cale’s “Riverboat Song” is played with toe-tapping insistence while Edgar Winter’s “Way Down South” captures a similar drive to the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ (surprisingly unreleased) version that opens the movie My Cousin Vinny, with a striking breakdown in mid-song.
Here We Go Again was recorded at John Autin’s studio in New Orleans, capturing a warm and natural sound. It isn’t a pure blues album by any means, but if you are interested in hearing a glorious gumbo of blues, Cajun, swamp pop and New Orleans-styled rock and roll, you will find a lot to enjoy here.