WITH HIS new band, the Tail Gaters, former LeRoi Brother Don Leady makes a delightful move toward the bayous of Louisiana. On their debut album, "Swamp Rock," the Tail Gaters avoid the sticky problem of how to go about contemporizing roots rock and roll. By embracing the folk styles of Cajun and zydeco music, they come up with a colorful and original old- fashioned rock and roll sound.
In addition to adding touches of Cajun fiddle, triangle and rub board, the band covers a few south Louisiana classics like Rockin' Sidney's "They Call Me Rockin' " and Lawrence Walker's "Mamou Twostep." Leady has a warm voice, plays fat and twangy guitar lines and counts on his own good spirit to help the band rock over the rough spots. And it does.
Leady is also a classic rock and roll songwriter, and he offers a few gems hre, including the Bo Diddleyish "Rock and Roll Till the Cows Come Home" and the rollicking "Pick Up the Deck." Despite a flat production job and a somewhat plodding rhythm section, the Tail Gaters' good-natured approach and folksy charm result in one of the more attractive independent rock and roll albums of the year.
THE TAIL GATERS -- "Swamp Rock" (Wrestler WR285); appearing Saturday at Friendship Station.