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Mama Rosin: Bye Bye Bayou

Reviewed By: Adrian Huggins
Label: Moi J'Connais Records
Format: CD

As Jon Spencer produced and recorded ‘Bye Bye Bayou’, I think I was expecting something a little more mental and off the wall from Mama Rosin, but, however, the result is not a disappointment. If the Blues Explosion front man is going to put his name to something, you can bet your hat that it’s not going to be anything run of the mill.

Mama Rosin are more along the lines of a Louisiana swamp act, but are in fact Swiss. The result is thoroughly enjoyable. The occasional Swiss (French) vocals do come as something of a shock and is confusing at first, but there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

Despite the obvious geographical hindrance, Mama Roisin do pull off the whole Cajun vibe pretty well. The rawness is there for all to hear, but it doesn’t compromise the quality of the recordings or sound. That is a real plus as this could easily have ended up sounding like the residents of an Alpine mental institution going batshit crazy with a few donated instruments from the tax-avoiding general public.

While it doesn’t have the demented blues ferocity we have come to expect from the bands producer and chief fan, Mama Rosin serve up their fair share of lunacy. ‘Wivenhoe’, for example, features a terrific use of kitchen utensils and ‘Sorry Ti Monde’ makes you feel like you’re in some sort of trippy French hillbilly-horror film – which is unsettling and enjoyable in equal measures.

Having been recorded in the US of A and with their mentor at the helm Mama Rosin have clearly been pushed and steered in the right direction. The result is fantastic and gives a perfect platform for their unique take on the genre. ‘Bye Bye Birdy Back’ has a wonderful stomp to that could easily get the dead clapping and stamping their bones along to it. This in many ways sums up the album nicely. It sounds live, and I think that if ‘Bye Bye Bayou’ were it to sound more ‘studio based’ then neither the album or Mama Rosin would quite make sense. This is in no small part due to the production talents of Jon Spencer which see a great band reaching their full potential through working with someone who clearly ‘gets’ their vision.

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