REVIEW: Warren Storm, Willie Tee & Cypress

A few years ago, long-time Louisiana musical icons Warren Storm and Willie Tee decided to revive their legendary Cypress Band, a group that they had first formed in 1980. The duo found that modern audiences were enthusiastic in their support, and soon began building quite a following in area nightspots. Deciding that their mix of swamp pop and R&B might have wider appeal, they’ve now generated a new album on the Jin Records label, simply titled Warren Storm, Willie Tee And Cypress.

Both performers are veterans of the Southern Louisiana musical scene, with a high comfort factor is just about every kind of music popular to the area, and they’ve chosen a diversified mix for their album. The two stars split the lead vocal duties on the fourteen tracks, and Willie also provides some fine and funky sax play on several pieces.

You’ll find a little bit of everything here, but one influence is immediately obvious — Fats Domino. Several of the R&B legend’s songs are included, and Willie takes on the difficult job of emulating Fats. He’s mostly pretty successful, with his best efforts probably coming on “My Girl Josephine,” and the slow ballad, “Valley Of Tears.” Less enjoyable is his try at “Rosemary,” which begins with his piercing honkin’ sax take.

Along with the Domino songs, there are some other tracks featuring ‘oldies’ performed by the guys in their distinctive style. The classic song “Shake, Rattle And Roll” is performed pretty straight, but their take on “Sea Of Love” is a hoot.

An album from the swamps wouldn’t be complete without some good old Cajun-style music, and “Chicken On The Run” does it up right. There’s also a taste of Louisiana style country music, with “Tennessee Blues,” and “I Don’t Want To know,” both featuring Warren’s strong vocals.

A nice and varied collection, encompassing several different types of music but all performed in the style of a couple of Louisiana legends.

Buy the album.

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