La. Swamp Pop Revue to present Cypress Band

JENNINGS­­­ — What do you get when you combine New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western and Cajun music with rock and roll?

That uniquely Louisiana sonic style known as swamp pop.

The Louisiana Swamp Pop Revue will bring swamp pop music legends Warren Storm, Willie Tee, Tommy McClain, Jivin Gene, Charlene Howard, T.K. Hulin and the Cypress Band to the Strand Theatre at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $25 through Bon Ami Tours at 337-824-7078 or 337-370-2512.

Storm, who has been hailed as the Godfather of swamp pop,is a pioneer of the swamp pop musical genre.

“I’ve been playing this music for 70 years and I will be doing it until I expire,” Storm said. “…. and I’m not about to quit yet.”

Storm grew up in Abbeville and started playing music at the age of 11 after learning to play drums and guitar from his father, a country and western musician.

He began performing publicly in the early 1950s with Larry Brasso and the Rhythmaires. He went on to perform solo and with the Lil Band O’ Gold and others groups.

He is best known for songs “Lord I Need Somebody Bad Tonight,” “My House of Memories,” and his release of “Prisoner’s Song” and Mama Mama Mama (Look What Your Little Boy’s Done), which broke into the Billboard Hot 100.

He recently re-released “Country By Storm,” which he considers a greatest hits.

In 1980, Storm and fellow swamp popper Willie Tee formed The Cypress Band. The group had its own weekly television show on KADN and toured the country together for nearly 12 years.

The band broke up in 1984, but Storm and Tee continued to work together performing with other bands. In 2004, they revised the Cypress Band and continue touring today.

“Every where we play we get great crowds,” Storm said. “They just enjoy listening to our music.”

“For us, we’re making a living at it and having fun doing it,” he continued. “What makes it fun is seeing people having fun and dancing to our music.”

For many the music brings back memories, Storm said. Others are discovering a new kind of music, he said.

“We’re starting to attract a few young people at the festivals and creating some new fans with our music,” he said. “The younger people like the music and the beat because it’s something they can dance to.”

Storm said people attending their shows are guaranteed to have a good time and be entertained by some swamp pop legends.

“They can learn what our music is all about and I think they will enjoy it,” he said.

The music continues to draw devoted fans from all over East Texas and Louisiana to festivals and casinos and has garnered a cult following from fans in London, England, France, Australia, Holland and New Zealand.

“I always said if we could take our music all over the world people would like it and they do,” he said.””

The Cypress Band featuring Warren Storm and Willie Tee will perform at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Strand Theatre in Jennings. The Louisiana Swamp Pop Revue show lineup also includes Tommy McClain, Jivin Gene, Charlene Howard and T.K. Hulin.

Special to the American Press