(Orange, Texas)

December 22, 2012

Christmas spirit abounds on new CD from local, regional acts

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

PORT ARTHUR — Several local and regional artists have joined forces on a compilation album just in time for Christmas.

The Swamp Gold CD, “Merry Christmas Wishes to All,” was released in mid-November on the Gin record label and features artists such as Don Rich, Warren Storm, Charles Mann, Tommy McClain, Johnnie Allan, Willie Tee and Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois.

Bourgeois said label owner Floyd Soileau came up with the idea to have label artists record a Christmas album in 2011 and the idea finally came to fruition earlier this year.

“The idea was for us artists on the label, which we either all currently are or have been through the years, write and record a new Christmas song for the record,” Bourgeois said in a telephone interview. “Some artists did, while others, for whatever reason, re-recorded some holiday classics.”

Bourgeois wrote and recorded two original songs for the disc, “Letter to Santa” and “Will You Be There.”

“Those songs are just written from a guy’s perspective,” he added. “The song ‘Will You Be There’ is about a couple that meets every Christmas and the man is wondering if she will be there again next year. The other song, ‘Letter to Santa,’ is about a guy who has messed up his relationship with his girl and he writes a letter to Santa Claus asking him to help get her back.”

The music on Bourgeois’ two tracks, along with four others on the CD, were recorded by Ken Marvel and Swamp Rock, with whom Bourgeois regularly performs at venues across the region such as Larry’s French Market in Groves and Yesterday’s Night Club in Lake Charles, La.

“Ken (Marvel) and his band played a major part in the recording of this record,” Bourgeois explained. “They recorded six of the thirteen songs on it and really gave the record a great sound.”

Bourgeois said the album is currently available at his local performances and is also available at Larry’s French Market in Groves. It can also be purchased online at or by calling 800-738-8668.

“I’m really thrilled about being on this CD,” Bourgeois stated. “It was a great opportunity for me to be on this album with all of these swamp pop legends, and I hope people are as excited to hear it as we are.”

Ken Marvel and Swamp Rock will perform its final show of 2012 at Larry’s French Market on Dec. 28. Although Bourgeois is not officially billed as part of the show, it would not be shocking to see him there.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be there to perform with the band,” he said with a laugh. “It’s what we do after all.”