Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tony Joe White “Hoodoo”

(Yep Roc) Slinky, low-key/deep-impact swamp blues from the Swamp Thing himself. His voice may be wispier (like swamp gas?) but it still feels as resonant, distinct, and powerful as ever. The production has a sparseness that’s eerie and warm, which is not surprising, as White clearly has the superpower to bring the most distinct vibes of the Bayou wherever he travels. One time he played at Schuba’s and it was below freezing outside, yet somehow a fly was on stage buzzing around his head and bothering him for half the show…the man had a Louisiana fly follow him up to Chicago! (Which makes sense…everyone’s a TJW fan!) These recordings mellow down easy, like fine wine, and Tony Joe will get you there in his own good time. My personal fave rave of this set is “(Baby’s Got A) Sweet Tooth),” a stellar blues song that especially intrigues me because for the life of me I can’t figure out the sexual (or maybe drug, but it sounds like it’s supposed to be sexy) metaphors in this thing. I guess “being out of milk” could obviously be about impotency, being spent sexually, or any kind of liquid narcotic, but it sure as hell sounds like Tony’s actually singing about going to the store for actual milk to go along with the chocolate chip goods his sweet tooth baby sincerely bakes and sincerely enjoys    .

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