What does deep south France and Southern Rock have in common? The correct answer is a band, the Bootleggers. And they’ve recently released a new Indie album entitled Southern Roads.

In the vein of ZZ Top, the twang of electric guitars and hard rocking beat defines the Bootleggers. Band leader, lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Didier Cere sets the tone for their music. Point Blank’s guitarist, Rusty Burns who passed away before the CD was released, Van Wilks and Neal Black from San Antonio join in on the project.

The album kicks off with Van Wilks’ “Sometimes You Run.” Having heard Van’s original version, I have to give the Bootleggers kudos for their rendition of this hard-rocking song. You cannot listen and sit still.

“Short Change Hero” written by Kelvin Claude Swaby and made popular by The Heavy is the second track, followed by “Sending Me Angels,” a Delbert McClinton tune, which switches to a soulful tempo showing the diversity of this group.

“10 Million Slaves” penned by Otis Taylor features one of the most important American Artists on the blues scene, Neal Black on electric guitar.

The next track came as a surprise. “Negro Prison Blues,” written by Alan Lomax starts out acapella and moves into a beautiful instrumental featuring the slide guitar of Claude Zanglois.

The Bootleggers interpretation of “John The Revelator” by Blind Willie Johnson is simplistic and organic. Didier Cere shines on the vocals.

Neal Black penned “Hangman Tree,” and in the truest depiction of southern rock with a heavy drum beat and slide guitar, it is an easy favorite.

“Spirit in the Sky,” topped the charts worldwide in 1969. Written and released by Norman Greenbaum, it became one of the most recognizable songs on the radio. The Bootleggers did a rocking version in the spirit of the song with some outstanding harmonica work by Nico Wayne Toussaint. Dick Burnett’s “Man of Constant Sorrow” brings this album to a close in a surprising way. I have to say I am impressed by the vocals on this album and the versatility of the musicians. For more info visit

Watch a Video of the BOOTLEGGERS Performing live! Video Link

I hope you enjoyed meeting a new and unique group of artists. It’s not often I get a chance to review a CD from a band in France. 


14 thoughts on “BOOTLEGGERS – CD Review

  1. “Negro Prison Blues” wasn’t written by Alan Lomax and wasn’t sung by Bootleggers. Alan Lomax was an ethnologist (like his father John) who made a lot of field recordings. The first part of this song is a work song recorded with prisoners. I think also that the song doesn’t called so. “Negro Prison Blues (and Songs)” is the title of a CD with Prison Songs recorded by Lomax.


    1. Hi Blues maker , we just used a sample from Alan Lomax tracks and we added a dobro , an interlude on the CD . When we produce an album in France we have to pay for SDRM ( owner rights ) Alan Lomax is the owner of the sample we used so we just did things in legal way . We paid for having used this sample and seen Mister Lomax is the owner , we added his name . Hope situation is clarified , now please listen our album and give us your thought , I would be happy to send you a copy . All the best

      Liked by 1 person

    1. ZZ Top are legends , we are just some humble french southern rockers . For info we opened ‘em at Valenciennes , France and I had the chance to exchange few words with Billy , a gentleman . We have a common friend Van Wilks who is also a Texas guitar legend . Texas had and has a lot of guitar Masters : Stevie Ray , Johnny Winter , T-Bone Walker , Freddie king , Albert Collins , WC Clark , Bobby Mack , Billy Gibbons and many many others … my friend Rusty Burns who unfortunately passed away , my friends Van Wilks , Redd Volkaert , Buddy Wittington … how how how I love Texas .– Didier from BOOTLEGGERS

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is an extraordinary honour to have this review done by a great author and that warms our old southern rockers hearts . Thank you so much for taking the time to listen our album and for your kind words . We have been lucky to work on this project with great guitarists and people as Rusty Burns , Van Wilks , Neal Black and to be mastered by Jerry Tubb . We have been lucky to meet fabulous and big-hearted people . We are lucky to live our passion . I miss Texas and can’t wait to see again all my amigos there
    Much Love & Respect to you Miss SIKES
    Keep on rockin Y’all loud & proud !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my friend, it was my pleasure to review this CD. You and your amazing bandmates are talented and project something into your music that can’t be fabricated. Best of luck to you, always!


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