Tony Joe White: Hoodoo (Yep Roc/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tony Joe White: Alligator Mississippi
Tony Joe White: Hoodoo (Yep Roc/Southbound)

Perennial Southern swamp-rocker and the Louisiana man who defined the genre (although John Fogerty of Creedence got there around the same time, albeit from San Francisco), doesn't change his winning formula here.

It's still low-growl'n'mumble vocals, rolling grooves and razor-sharp guitar on these nine tracks which look to his own life for source material.

Which means a rich vein of songs about the family's 40-acre, seven-children cotton plantation in the Forties and early Fifties (9 Foot Sack), the perils of the swampland (the brooding Alligator Mississippi) and more recently being washed out of his riverside home near Nashville (the spare and elemental seven-plus minutes of The Flood).

When he sings of a storm comin' you can feel the air thicken and the Devil darkening the sky. (Although Sweet Tooth at the end is among his weakest ideas.)

Newbies to TJW – there might be some – will think this of average interest, old fans will appreciate the consistently menacing tone in these live-to-tape songs and rate this much higher, maybe even a return to form. 

However it needs be conceded that, over a 45-year recording career, 70-year old White has hardly moved far from the original design of steamy voodoo blues, roots country-folk seeped in Lightnin' Hopkins and veiled menace.

Ain't nothing broken so ain't nothin' to be fixin' 

And that's good news.

There is more on Tony Joe White at Elsewhere starting here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ha the Unclear: Invisible Lines (Woollen/usual outlets)

Ha the Unclear: Invisible Lines (Woollen/usual outlets)

It has been some years since Dunedin's Ha the Unclear (the band helmed by Michael Cathro, who was interviewed at Elsewhere) first broke into our consciousness with the terrific, quirky, funny and... > Read more

Eleni Mandell: I Can See the Future (YepRoc)

Eleni Mandell: I Can See the Future (YepRoc)

Possessed of kd lang's melodic skills and swooning delivery, with an ear on classic Fifties and Sixties pop which was a hallmark of the best Rumer songs and just enough folk-noir to bring... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Big Daddy Wilson: Love is the Key (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Big Daddy Wilson: Love is the Key (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Singer Wilson from North Carolina is yet another of those US blues (and jazz) artists who found a more sympathetic and profitable environment in Europe and these days operates out of Germany... > Read more

Various Artists: The Sound of Siam (Soundway)

Various Artists: The Sound of Siam (Soundway)

Increasingly the globe becomes a village -- and the local radio station is broadcasting oldies and archival stuff. Consider the recent excavating of music from Ethiopia, Nigeria,... > Read more