Review: “Deep Cuts,” Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White is perhaps the swampiest of the swamp rockers.  He wrote and recorded “Polk Salad Annie,” most famously covered by Elvis Presley, and originated a greasy, funky, dark sound more popularly known as Louisiana swamp rock.  After 40 years in the bidness, Tony Joe has released Deep Cuts, his 21st album that tries to update his signature sound.  White’s “sound” is his deep voice and his distorted guitar playing, on Deep Cuts son Jody White adds samples, beats and loops to his father’s songs, some of them new and others that reach as far back as 1969.  (Which is probably when that cover photo was taken … nice sideburns!)  One of the updated oldies, “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” (covered by Dusty Springfield), gets a psychedelic sheen and an industrial beat and may actually lose something in the process.  But then there’s “Swamp Water,” which is thicker and darker than a cup of Catahoula coffee.  And “Homemade Ice Cream,” an instrumental, comes out into the sun with White’s underrated harmonica playing set over a lazy beat.  “Set The Hook” does just that – it snags you with White’s voice, harmonica and ominous guitar.  Overall, Deep Cuts is a fiery and fierce piece of work that will not fail to get your blood pumping.

MP3: “Set The Hook”

MP3: “As The Crow Flies”

Video: “Polk Salad Annie” (1969)

Tony Joe White official website 

 

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