Talking Style: Fire on the Bayou

“Fire on the Bayou” might just be my favorite song out of New Orleans. There is a grit and attitude about it that can only be found in New Orleans.

The lyrics paint a picture of the New Orleans that I remember seeing on my periphery as a little boy growing up there – observing my uncles and other older dudes that I knew as they came and went, and then as a young man who spent a fair amount of time in bars clubs and pool halls in the late 80s and early 90s.

That chank in the rhythm guitar, that war cry “FIYOOOOO ON THE BAYOOOO”… man. That song kicks you right the neck!

You can think of the rhythm as another tresillo derivative, dotted eighth note/sixteenth followed on beat one followed by an eighth note rest, eighth note figure on beat two.

Here are some of my favorite arrangements: The Meters (first video), Neville Bros (second video) and Trombone Shorty (third video):

Ted Gould III, also known as “Blyss”, is a bassist and music educator originally from New Orleans now based in the Bay Area. Connect with him at and check out his new Slap Bass course.

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