FAME Review: Clay Swafford - Rooster
Clay Swafford - Rooster


Clay Swafford

Lost Cause Records - LC 120

Available from Lost Cause Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

The casual listener might think that there are two piano players playing, or if there is only one he has three hands, or he has more than five fingers on those hands, none of these are true. Clay Swafford has only two hands and ten fingers, he is just so nimble and quick that you think he has more. Just for the record the title of this disc comes from Clay Swafford's nickname which his father gave him when he was first born and his dad looked at him and said, "Lord, look at that boy! Why, he looks just like a rooster!" While he was coming up and learning the piano in Alabama, he played with, and more than held his own with, legends such as Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Margolin, and Pinetop Perkins.

This disc is raw, and solid and it takes one back to the days when the piano ruled. Blues, yes, and shining through is the New Orleans legacy of Professor Longhair and Jellyroll Morton, with the barrelhouse style and rolling triplets. This disc is mostly just his piano playing, with some great contributions by Bob Margolin and his guitar on two of the bonus tracks and the third bonus track features Bob Corritore on harmonica with his Rhythm Room All-Stars laying down great support with Big Pete Pearson on the vocals. No, I am not slighting Diunna Greenleaf providing vocals on five of the tracks. If you have not heard this woman sing grab tight because her voice is explosive. What the she ans Swafford create together is stunning and will probably make you go out and get one of her disc so you can hear more of that huge expressive voice. His playing speaks for itself and as of now this is his only disc.

Track List:

  • Roosters Boogie
  • 29 Ways
  • Olympia Strut
  • Sometimes I have A Heartache
  • Messin Around Davenport
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Birmingham After Midnight
  • Watch Yourself
  • Big Joe Stomp
  • Rock This House
  • Amazing Grace
  • Fine Little Mama
  • Tin Pan Alley
  • Mean Disposition

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Fame LogoReturn to FAME Reviews

a line

Return to acousticmusic.com Home Page

a line

Website design by David N. Pyles