White serves up "Hoodoo"
Thursday, July 11, 2013
– Tony Joe White may be almost 70, but almost more than 50 years of playing music, he is not sloing down. White is set to release a brand new album, "Hoodoo," out on Sept. 17 via Yep-Roc.
White was born in Oak Grove, La. in 1943 and was raised on a cotton farm owned by his father. After he finished schooling, following a stint driving a truck in Georgia, he formed a series of bands and took to the road. A trip to Nashville in 1966 was marked by one lucky break after another, and his fruitful recording career began at the country-soul crucible of Monument Records.
His best known songs are Polk Salad Annie and Rainy Night in Georgia. Through the years, his songs have been recorded by everyone from Tina Turner to Elvis Presley to Ray Charles.
Culled from an initial stack of roughly 17 tunes, the 9 songs on "Hoodoo" was cut mostly live to tape with many first takes.
"There's some actual magic that came over all of us when we were doing this," White said. "I would sit down with my drummer Cadillac (Bryan Owings) and my bass player the Troll (Steve Forrest), play twenty seconds of the tune, and then say 'We're gonna hit record, and you just play what comes into your heart.' It's like everyone is getting the hoodoo sensation. Spontaneity is beautiful. And since it's our studio, there's no hurry: no one is over our shoulder saying when we gotta get in and when we gotta get out...we were the record company."
"Hoodoo" features autobiographical songs about his life growing up on farm and learning the blues (9 Foot Sack), tales of rural Mississippi (Alligator Mississippi) and a tale of his trek homeward after the Nashville flood of 2010 (The Flood).
"There's not a push nowhere," he said about any pressure. "Maybe I'll stop playing shows and making records when the songs quit coming to me. But they still come to me. You see, I don't work for a song, but once I get a hold of it I don't let go. I just keep writing, and when I do, I want to go out and play it for somebody. It's the songwriting that keeps me going."
Songs on the CD are:
1) The Gift
2) Holed Up
3) Who You Gonna Hoodoo Now?
4) 9 Foot Sack
5) Alligator, Mississippi
6) The Flood
7) Storm Comin'
8) Gypsy Epilogue
9) Sweet Tooth
More news for Tony Joe White
CD reviews for Tony Joe White
It's the nature of the music biz that any artist that boasts only a handful of hits generally has a hard time sustaining a career for any more than a year or two, much less for four decades. So credit Tony Joe White for doing the unimaginable, maximizing the success he scored early on with songs like Polk Salad Annie, Rainy Night in Georgia and Steamy Windows, (the latter two written for Brook Benton and Tina Turner, respectively) and using them to spur a trajectory that's still going strong. »»»
It's been just over four decades since Tony Joe White eased into the spotlight with Polk Salad Annie, a folk/blues song that established White as a swampy, gritty and slightly more dangerous version of Elvis Presley. At the same time, there was a hint of novelty in Polk Salad Annie ("Gators got your granny, chomp, chomp chomp...") that could have painted White in a corner, but he proved more versatile and durable than his big hit. And although he hasn't had a song nearly as big »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers
When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience
Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
When Was the Last Time
Darius Rucker is so darn likeable, he likely gets away with creating subpar music more than most. However, "When Was the Last Time" is a consistently good album, which is as respectable as it is likeable. »»»
Chris Young has one of the best country voices, and it's always a pleasure to hear him sing. But it's disappointing when the title cut sounds more like the groove to a Justin Bieber song than anything truly country. »»»
A Long Way From Your Heart
The name Turnpike Troubadours suggests traveling music. Strap yourself in and get ready for an exhilarating ride. This Oklahoma-based roots-rock unit soars on its fourth release. Not to diminish the strong songwriting from leader Evan Felker, it's the band's pulsating musicianship with an array of electric instruments combined with fiddle and pedal steel that makes the sound so arresting. »»»
The stunning vocal of Travis Meadows on the opening track, "Sideways," brims with honesty, pain and hard-earned wisdom as he offers a blend of confession and advice, stimulated by an experience at an adolescent addiction treatment center. Meadows, like many, is one of those Nashville songwriters ("Riser" for Dierks Bentley and "What We Ain't Got" for Jake Owen), but is finding his own voice relatively late in life. »»»
The Long Awaited Album
When last we visited a new album from Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, 2011's "Rare Bird Alert," we found a cohesive, focused collection of bluegrass; it was an expansive, artistic creation that only benefited the bluegrass community. A subsequent live album (strikingly entitled "Live") presented a continued refinement of this pairing's chemistry. »»»