"At 82 years old, Warren Storm has more history behind him than in front of him. Fortunately, this stop along the way gives the world another chance to take a taste of the swamp pop that he is generally considered to have created- a steamy mixture of country, cajun, zydeco and New Orleans R & B. Think early CCR and you´ll be in the right book, if not on the right page. Louisiana musician Yvette Landry coaxed Storm into the studio to revisit some of his career highlights such as ´Mathilda´ and ´Prisoner´s Song´ as well as some takes on classics by others including CCR´s John Fogerty who guests on his classic ´Long As I Can See the Light.´ With an all-star band including Eric Adcock on piano, Roddie Romero on guitar, Derek Huston on sax, Chris French on bass and Gary Usie on drums plus special guests including Fogerty, Marc Broussard, Sonny Landreth and Willie "Tee" Traham, the stage was set for a fine release and this disc delivers. Storm´s voice shows little signs of his aging as revealed by both ballads such as the Bobby Charles penned ´Tennessee Blues´ and more upbeat numbers such as the Dave Bartholomew/Fats Domino classic ´Let the Four Winds Blow´ and his 1956 hits, ´Mama, Mama, Mama´ (where Landry adds some saucy vocals to the mix) and ´Prisoner´s Song.´ Merle Haggard´s ´My House of Memories´ aptly captures the anguish of unshakable loss while the bouncy, saxdriven ´Troubles, Troubles´ is musically at odds with the misery and turmoil claimed in the lyrics revealing the loss of his lady isn´t likely as bad as he protests. For those seeking to revisit swamp pop history this is a nice souvenir. For those new to the genre, this is a great introduction." — Mark Smith, Jazz & Blues Report, March • April 2020 • Issue 389
"Storm´s robust, rough and ready vocals are more than ably accompanied by the core band of pianist Eric Adcock, guitarist Roddie Romero, tenor and baritone saxist Derek Hutson, upright bassist Chris French and drummer Gary Usie on, not only the two debut 45 titles above, but engaging covers of a raft of titles that followed in his wake. Particular corkers include the choogling ´Long As I Can See The Light,´ where Creedence Clearwater´s John Fogerty drops by to share the vocal with Storm, along with a rockin´ ´Mathilda,´ a mellow recall of Bobby Charles´ ´Tennessee Blues´ (with slide guitarist Richard Comeaux and fiddler Beau Thomas guesting) and Domino´s carefree ´Let The Four Winds Blow.´ Also noted are (producer Yvette) Landry´s tempestuous vocal sharing on ´Mama Mama Mama´ and an inspired reworking of Merle Haggard´s bleak ´My House Of Memories´." — Gary von Tersch, Blues & Rhythm Magazine, April 2020.
"Trust me when the opener ´Long as I Can See the Light´ begins you won´t care how it was recorded. Mr. Storm (or Mr. Schexnider, however you wish to call him) does not sound like an 82 year old. No way. He owns the mournful, inspirational Fogerty penned tune... Now´s the time for music that lifts the spirits and here´s some that does just that! Mr. Schexnider is in fine voice here, soaring to hit all of the high notes and clearly enjoying the adulation coming from all of the participants.... Live to 2-track analog sound pleases the ears at low levels and no matter how loud you crank it. If I could rate these records separately for sound this one would be up at least a notch to "noine" bordering on 10. Go high, go low, have a party with this album of honest music making... thanks to Executive Producer Chad Kassem, the audiophile community´s Alan Lomax. Perfectly pressed at QRP, Salina Kansas, USA." — Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com.
"These are songs (from writers such as Earl King, Dave Bartholomew & Fats Domino, Bobby Charles, and others) that (Storm) has figuratively made his own already. ... There is also one song that is utterly new to Storm´s repertoire: a sublime take on ´Long As I Can See the Light,´ written and originally recorded by John Fogerty during his Credence Clearwater Revival heyday. This track alone might justify acquisition of the album, for not only does the soul-stirring number seem perfectly made for Storm to interpret but it also features Fogerty himself as special guest vocalist on the final verse. Together, those two distinctive voices are a marvel to behold — and a reminder of just how much the California-born rocker´s essential sound (as well as verbal motifs on classic CCR songs such as ´Born on the Bayou´) was influenced by the music and culture of South Louisiana." — Roger Wood, Living Blues Magazine, February 2020.
"At age 82, Warren ´Storm´ Schexnider is a wonderful force out of Louisiana ... and still doing what he does best. His new album, Taking The World, By Storm, finds him revisiting some material he recorded earlier in his career, and proving he still has the vocal power and flair to make these songs work. Seriously, there are some fantastic vocal performances on this album." — Michael Doherty´s Music Log
"He is a master of what is lovingly referred to as ´swamp pop,´ an amalgam of traditional Cajun sounds mixed with blues, R&B, zydeco, and country ... Warren Storm has done it all - he´s been a drummer, a singer, and a front man. ... All 11 tracks (on Taking The World By Storm) were laid down on half-inch tape, live-in-studio, the way they did back in the Fifties." — Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues and Roots Alliance
"Starting strong with a duet with John Fogerty on ´Long As I Can See The Light,´ followed by Marc Broussard on ´Mathilda,´ this made-with-love album from Louisiana mainstay Warren Storm doesn´t slow down across eleven songs and 36 minutes. ... Storm still has the soul that made him the Godfather of Swamp Pop. Spend some time with him as he is Taking The World, By Storm." — Donald Teplyske, Fervor Coulee — Roots Music Opinion
"Who knows? Maybe it´s the constant edible infusion of crawfish and Tabasco sauce, Dixie beer and moonshine diets that took their mortal toll on dedicated swamp pop practitioners. ... Luckily one of the original swampers, Mr. Warren Storm, is not about to give up the Holy Ghost anytime soon. 82-years-young, he´s still singing for the ages and capable of working a backroom dance floor harder than anyone alive." — Bill Bently, Americana Highways
Warren "Storm" Schexnider is a Louisiana legend. At age 82 when this album was recorded, he´s been creating music for more than 70 years — a milestone that´s dubbed him the "Godfather of Swamp Pop" for his fealty to the indigenous music of the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenage Cajuns, swamp pop combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences.
Warren throughout his career has recorded on innumerable records, both on his own as a vocalist/musician, and as a studio musician on other albums. He continues to blaze a path for younger musicians, which is why one could say the universe had a plan that resulted in the album Taking the World, by Storm, new from APO Records. Recorded at Dockside Studio, Maurice, Louisiana in March 2019, the album was produced by Yvette Landry and executive producer Chad Kassem. Mastering was by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound in Nashville.
Warren Storm grew up in a Cajun household (he spoke only French until the third grade!) surrounded by music. His father, an Abbeville, Louisiana native, was a drummer, fiddler, and accordian player who indoctrinated his then 12-year-old son Warren into the biz with an impromptu Rayne-Bo Ramblers gig. By age 15, Warren was playing drums with Larry Brasso´s Rhythm-aires. Throughout his adolescence Warren played with various dance hall bands, including with Fats Domino´s drummer Charlie "Hungry" Williams. Warren became known as the top session drummer in the area; then just after graduation from Abbeville High School, Warren signed a recording contract. His first record, a 7-inch released in 1958, containing "The Prisoner´s Song," b/w "Mama, Mama, Mama" sold a quarter of a million copies. His subsequent hits "So Long, So Long, (Goodbye, Goodbye)," "Birmingham Bar," "Lord, I Need Somebody Bad Tonight," "Things Have Gone To Pieces" and more led to Warren´s induction into both Louisiana and Texas´ Music Hall of Fame.
Yvette Landry, a singer-songwriter and musician, grew up in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana not far from the levees of the Atchafalaya Basin, North America´s largest swampland. She fronts her own band, The Yvette Landry Band, and her debut award-winning album titled Should Have Known was released in 2010. (The album was named Offbeat Magazine´s "Best Country/Folk Album" and Landry "Best Country/Folk Artist") She´s been a familiar presence on stages at countless cultural festivals and venues — from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the Bluebird Café in Nashville.
Still, when Warren Storm strolled unannounced into a gig she was playing in the spring of 2018, Yvette was at once a little nervous and starstruck.
When prodded to sing a signature tune of Warren´s, "I Need Somebody Bad," off her newly-released album, she says, "I shut my eyes and belted it out." At the end of the night Warren approached her, shook her hand and said "I never heard a girl sing that song before. You did real good. Think I could have a copy?"
She complied and a friendship blossomed. As Warren thumbed through his accumulated memoriabilia Landry began noticing who she was seeing in photos: Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Hank Williams, Jr., Elvis and others.
The idea was born to compile Warren´s stories and pictures for a book about his career spent performing with, and opening for some of the finest musicians in the world. That book became Taking the World, by Storm — A Conversation with Warren "Storm" Schexnider, The Godfather of Swamp Pop.
When the idea was proposed to reissue one of Warren´s previous albums to accompany the book, Yvette and those working with her on the project went one bettter: record a new album with Warren, live in the studio, straight to 2-track tape, "just like he did in his early days." And so the recording process began. Next to become involved was Acoustic Sounds and APO Records owner Chad Kassem, who arranged for the album to appear on the APO label, to be mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound in Nashville, and to be plated and pressed on vinyl at Quality Record Pressings, renowned among audiophiles and music professionals for its fine-sounding LPs.
For Chad, born and raised in the south Louisiana town of Lafayette, the music of Warren Storm was as familiar growing up as the climate and culture of his homeland. Chad says he feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in such a one-of-a-kind project.
The core band for this album is an experienced crew: Eric Adcock (piano), Roddie Romero (electric guitar), Derek Huston (saxophone), Chris French (upright bass), and Gary Usie (drums). Special guests include vocalist Marc Broussard ("Mathilda"), Sonny Landreth (slide guitar on "Mathilda"), Beau Thomas (fiddle) and Richard Comeaux (pedal steel) on "Tennessee Blues, and Willie "Tee" Trahan (tenor saxophone on "In My Moments Of Sorrow" and "Troubles, Troubles"). Yvette Landry also sings with Warren on "Mama, Mama, Mama.
Lastly, the one-and-only John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) was gracious enough to sing along with Warren´s performance of "Long As I Can See The Light." Warren recorded a video with John in the mid-1980s ("My Toot Toot") and remains a huge fan of John´s.
Warren Storm is a legend in Louisiana music, a swamp pop pioneer. As Yvette says, "He is a master who sings with excitement (like it was his first time) and reverence (like it is his last time)." Enjoy this musical gem and tribute to the swamp pop genre.