Tony Joe White
Yep Roc Records
This disc from the 75 year old northern Louisiana native reflects and releases his deep sun-baked voice and guitar that has more resonance than the Rocky Mountains and is deeper than the Grand Canyon; and yet reflects the swamps where he was born and raised. There are 12 songs here that are raw and cut right to the chase. They are stripped naked and yet have some of the deep muck and spirits of the swamps enveloping them with the stories draped with Spanish Moss as cushioning. There are 5 songs on here that Tony Joe wrote as well as a few classic Blues songs such as; “Boom Boom,” and the iconic “Big Boss Man,” that he decided to put on the disc.
This man has that voice that is as deep as The Grand Canyon, and when he is singing it is as if you are balancing on the edge of the Canyon looking straight down into the depth of it at twilight, with just enough light to see clear to that bottom half a million miles away. It is the voice and with just that ancient Stratocaster of his to accompany it. The voice resonates up the walls of the canyon reaching your ears with both dread and salvation echoing in it. There is not much else like it in the world.
Most of this disc is just him with that Stratocaster, however on several of the songs he is joined by drummer Bryan Owings who frequently accompanies White on his tours. On two of the songs Bassist Steve Forrest joins the band. This is his music and he even recorded the disc in the barn on his property. This is a disc that once you hear it isn’t going to leave your ears alone. It is that powerful.
by bob gottlieb