In an early review, Rolling Stone thought that the album suffered from a major fault of inconsistency. "The good cuts are very good; but the bad ones just don't make it," it said. The review was positive on the title track "Born On The Bayou" and "Proud Mary", but thought many of the other tracks lacked originality. Overall it considered the material in the album "not always strong, but Creedence Clearwater Revival plays with enough gusto to overcome this problem." On the reissue of this album on its 40th-anniversary in 2008, the album was given a score of 3.5 stars out of 5.
On Allmusic the album received 4.5 stars (out of 5), with Stephen Thomas Erlewine stating: "Opening slowly with the dark, swampy "Born on the Bayou," Bayou Country reveals an assured Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band that has found its voice between their first and second album. It's not just that "Born on the Bayou" announces that CCR has discovered its sound—it reveals the extent of John Fogerty's myth-making."