Following their Grammy-nominated collaborative LP with Bobby Rush last year, Decisions, Laramie, Wyoming’s own Blinddog Smokin’ have readied their next studio outing, High Steppin’. Populated by funk grooves, rock shredding, and a healthy dose of New Orleans style, the LP showcases the well-practiced union of high-energy instrumentation with frontman Carl Gustafson’s vivid lyricism.
On “Bayou Lady”, Blinddog Smokin’ pull off a fine feat: making an eminently danceable tune that also gets you to think. Gustafson’s understanding of the ways in which people overlook their own damage to the environment is on point—and it helps that his point is made with such jubilant music.
Gustafson tells PopMatters, “In our song, the wicked ‘Bayou Lady’ is an allegory for how mankind will blame the killer hurricane that someday may hit New Orleans directly without the grasslands to slow it down and save the city as in the past. But it’s man who destroys himself by his deeds.
“Katrina left New Orleans devastated, even though it was not a direct hit. For centuries, the city has been protected by the thick wetland grasses that are now disappearing at an almost visible rate. The Mississippi is kept from its meandering nature by man-made levees and silt is no longer deposited. The barrier islands are therefore receding or gone, towns are going under water, the ocean saltwater blended with the fresh water killing the natural wildlife.”
High Steppin’ is out on 17 July via Silver Talon.