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Swampland Jewels - Various Artists

(Vinyl LP)

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Item: LDS49813

Inspired by the original LP release on Goldband Records in 1979, and an expanded CD reissue in 1991, Swampland Jewels is set for expanded reissue on Yep Roc Records. A cult classic with an iconic cover, the 19-track compilation of classic Cajun, zydeco, rock ‘n roll and R&B music from East Texas and Southwest Louisiana was remixed and remastered from the original studio masters. Produced by Steven Weiss, Curator at the Southern Folklife Collection, and remastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen Mastering in Carrboro, NC, the compilation features 12 tracks from the original LP release, seven newly discovered tracks, and includes liner notes by Weiss on the history of Goldband Records and founder Eddie Shuler.

After comparing the two-track album master of the original ‘70s release to the album master, Weiss decided to rebuild the compilation from the high-resolution transfers of the un-overdubbed original session tapes. The release retains as much of the raw element as possible while keeping the dynamic range of recordings, which were recorded live, straight-to-tape, without overdubs. "I researched the Goldband collection to find the original single or session masters for all the songs," says Weiss. "It was a thrill hearing the raw recordings with studio talk, count-ins and unissued takes that captured the way Eddie worked and the immediacy of studio recordings in the 1950s and ‘60s. The original tapes also captured a strong sense of place."

While hopeful to recreate the original LP track list, Weiss was unable to find acceptable masters for some of the tracks that would match the sound quality of the new transfers. In place of those tracks, he chose newly discovered songs that matched the scope and feel of what he felt was Eddie Shuler's original intent. So much like the early ‘90s CD reissue, this re-imagined reissue of Swampland Jewels features an expanded track list. With packaging that features the original bikini-clad-girl-riding-a-giant-crawfish album art, Swampland Jewels is a singular compilation that is bound to resonate with any fan of traditional Cajun music of the mid-20th century.

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