A brief history…
Warren Storm (real name Warren Schexnider) was born on February 18, 1937, in Abbeville. The son of a Cajun band drummer, Storm played music as a child with Cajun-country group Larry Brasso and the Rhythmaires. In the mid-1950s he switched to rhythm and blues music, helping to pioneer the regional “swamp pop” sound. In 1962 Storm founded the Shondells with Rod Bernard and Skip Stewart. Among his recordings are “Prisoner’s Song” (which in 1958 peaked at No. 81 in Billboard’s Hot 100), “Lord I Need Somebody Bad Tonight,” and “My House Of Memories” (both 1974).
For more than four decades, Storm was also one of the area’s most requested studio musicians. He was the drummer on Dale and Grace’s No. 1 hit of 1963, “I’m Leaving It Up to You.” Storm also drummed on sessions for Lonesome Sundown, Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester, Rockin’ Sidney, Katie Webster, Clifton Chenier and Freddie Fender, and in 1985, Storm played on John Fogerty’s cover of Rockin’ Sidney’s million seller, “My Toot Toot.” Later, he joined the south Louisiana swamp pop super group, Lil Band O’ Gold, to considerable acclaim. Presently, he and Willie Tee have begun another era of Swamp Pop music by reviving The Cypress Band.
BluesRag Magazine, Dennis Rozanski (February 2019)
Sounds like someone has got a beef with love. Like their heart has been dragged all around Louisiana. Well, all that glorious ache couldn’t have happened to a better fellow than Warren Storm, one of the pillars of Swamp Pop. Like the Cajun George Jones, he has long embraced the role as King of Pain.
With steel guitars and saloon piano, Country By Storm takes its title seriously. So good are the honky-tonk blues that monumental crushers like “Break My Mind,” “Valley of Tears” and “Did We Have to Come This Far” must have gobbled up mountains of jukebox quarters inside Gulf Coast barrooms. The leadoff “So Long, So Long” starts the cycle of constant motion, because if a lover isn’t leaving or right about to leave, they’ve already gone. “Don’t Close the Door” and “Waking in the Shadows” keep beating that path, as the hint of bayou drawl in Storm’s voice drags out phrases just a little bit longer to let the sting set in. Or give him vertical space and he’ll soar up to those high, hurting notes on “I Need Somebody Bad.” Truth be told, though, Country’s first 12 remastered tracks actually draw straight from 1984’s Heart N’ Soul.
The fresh bait resides in the final, 13th track. There, the ageless, 81-year-old dips into the fountain of youth for a triumphant return to form, making good on the title of “Last Man Standing.” The Godfather of Swamp Pop, having outlasted his fellow pioneers by still being above ground as well as behind the microphone, transforms slowly drawn sentimentality into a statement song if ever there was.