Tony Joe White :: Black Panther Swamps


Tony Joe White turns 71 today — a good excuse as any to put on one of his many excellent platters. I recommend 1971’s self-titled Tony Joe White. Cut at Sounds of Memphis Studio and Ardent Recording Studio in Memphis for Warner Brothers, it’s thick, greasy, and sticky, a potent blend of country, R&B, and down home blues, with the leering White serving as a sly, funky narrator. He was already a proven hit maker by that point, with singles like “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia”   — recorded by Elvis and Brook Benton, respectively — under his belt buckle, but songs like “Black Panther Swamps” smoke with a loose abandon that defines White’s unique approach. Credit that “whomper stomper” guitar, I suppose. He’s still at it, too — last year Yep Roc released  Hoodoo, a terrific document of White’s weathered, booming voice. Still an outlaw, still digging in deep. Happy birthday, Swamp Fox. words / j woodbury

Tony Joe White :: Black Panther Swamps

One thought on “Tony Joe White :: Black Panther Swamps

  1. Johnny Rivers’ version of “Rainy Night In Georgia” (from Slim Slo Slider) is my favorite! Happy Birthday, Tony Joe White!

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