Swampwater “Swamp Water”

Swamp Water

Their last album and another really good country-rock outing. This self-titled effort was released off RCA in 1971 and came packaged in a strange jacket. Swampwater’s lineup had remained the same since their self-titled 1970 debut.

In comparison to that debut, there were a few more rock n roll tracks like the album opener Ooh-Wee California, the raw Dakota, and Ol’Papa Joe. These songs were good though, with well constructed guitar solos and strong bluegrass and cajun flavors. There were a few covers too but all were standouts like the excellent heartfelt version of One Note Man, a track with nice jangly Byrdsian guitar solos and pretty fiddle, which gave the song real atmosphere. Guilbeau also resurrected Gentle Ways of Lovin’ Me, a track he had recorded on numerous occasions with many different bands. Swampwater turned in one of the best versions of this song which is highlighted by barrelhouse banjo and a delicate, sincere arrangement. Another great track, Headed For The Country, compared favorably with the country-rock era Byrds, and had beautiful, sad folk-like harmonies and fine guitar playing.

All in all the album was strong, lacking any weak moments and showcased a great band that should have been at least as well known as Poco or Commander Cody. Swamp Water is fairly easy to find on ebay, I bought a copy for around 15 dollars but it still amazes me that this lp has never made it onto cd.

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“One Note Man”

:) Original Vinyl | 1971 | RCA | search ebay ]

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  • This was a band I had never heard of! But the songs you shared were great.
    I’m guessing the album…looking like a tree trunk with a knothole…opens up from the middle with a photo of the band…or whatever.
    I totally understand how clever album packages like this…made passing the LP around while the record played…an activity in itself.
    Thanks for turning me on to the band…Swampwater.

  • Brendan

    You’re right, it’s a die-cut cover. It folds out to reveal the rest of the group (jpg). I do have to agree that the sleeve is a bit strange, but the record cooks.

    Jason once described Swampwater as the Remains of country rock. They never wrote bad songs and could play better than most of the groups that were popular.

    Lastly, I just want to note how peculiar their album naming scheme was. Swampwater (1970) followed by Swamp Water (1971)!

  • I just came by to thank you for the link to Fusion 45. And I dig your site…love the way the color changes in the background and am happy to learn about Swampwater. Frankly, never heard of them before today. I will visit again, for certain. Thank you again. Namaste, Music Junkie at Fusion 45.

  • Duncan Walls

    How could I forget these gfuys and Dillard & Clark, too? Guess what… I discovered that Thad Maxwell lives 40 miles from here…I missed a one off performance of he and Floyd Gib Guilbeau last summer right here in Hamlin NY at a small restaurant last August. They did country rock oldies and humor.

  • Hello, I did come across my copy of SWAMPWATER, looked it up on the web, and had the pleasure of their version of ONE NOTE MAN , a song i wrote, also recorded by THE YOUNGBLOODS, and on my KAPP record in 1967; The young bloods didn’t get the lyrics right either, guess i didn’t illiterate very well !
    Thanks, Paul Lee Arnoldi

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